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Title: Sextus Empiricus and Greek Scepticism
Author: Mary Mills Patrick
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*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK SEXTUS EMPIRICUS AND GREEK ***
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_A Thesis accepted for the Degree of Doctor of_
_Philosophy in the University of Bern_
_Switzerland, November_ 1897
MARY MILLS PATRICK
PRESIDENT OF THE AMERICAN COLLEGE, CONSTANTINOPLE
_This Thesis is accompanied by a Translation from the Greek_
_of the First Book of the "Pyrrhonic Sketches_"
_by Sextus Empiricus_
DEIGHTON BELL & CO.
LONDON GEORGE BELL & SONS
PRINTED BY JONATHAN PALMER
The following treatise on Sextus Empiricus and Greek Scepticism
has been prepared to supply a need much felt in the English
language by students of Greek philosophy. For while other
schools of Greek philosophy have been exhaustively and
critically discussed by English scholars, there are few sources
of information available to the student who wishes to make
himself familiar with the teachings of Pyrrhonism. The aim has
been, accordingly, to give a concise presentation of Pyrrhonism
in relation to its historical development and the Scepticism of
the Academy, with critical references to the French and German
works existing on the subject. The time and manner of the
connection of Sextus Empiricus with the Pyrrhonean School has
also been discussed.
As the First Book of the _Hypotyposes_, or Pyrrhonic Sketches by
Sextus Empiricus, contains the substance of the teachings of
Pyrrhonism, it has been hoped that a translation of it into
English might prove a useful contribution to the literature on
Pyrrhonism, and this translation has been added to the critical
part of the work.
In making this translation, and in the general study of the
works of Sextus, the Greek text of Immanuel Bekker, Berlin,
1842, has been used, with frequent consultation of the text of
J.A. Fabricius, 1718, which was taken directly from the existing
manuscripts of the works of Sextus. The divisions into chapters,
with the headings of the chapters in the translation, is the
same as Fabricius gives from the manuscripts, although not used
by Bekker, and the numbers of the paragraphs are the same as
those given by both Fabricius and Bekker. References to Diogenes
Laertius and other ancient works have been carefully verified.
The principal modern authors consulted are the following:
Ritter, _Geschichte der Philosophie_, II. Auf., Hamburg,
Zeller, _Philosophie der Griechen_, III. Auf., Leipzig,
Lewes, _History of Philosophy_, Vol. I., London, 1866.
Ueberweg, _History of Philosophy_, IV. ed., translated by
Brochard, _Les Sceptiques Grecs_, Paris, 1877.
Brochard, _Pyrrhon et le Scepticism Primitive_, No. 5, Ribot's
_Revue Phil._, Paris, 1885.
Saisset, _Le Scepticism Aenesideme-Pascal-Kant_, Paris, 1867.
Chaignet, _Histoire de la Psychologie des Grecs_, Paris,
Haas, _Leben des Sextus Empiricus_, Burghausen, 1882.
Natorp, _Forschungen zur Geschichte des Erkenntnisproblems bei
den Alten_, Berlin, 1884.
Hirzel, _Untersuchungen zu Cicero's philosophischen Schriften_,
Pappenheim, _Erlaeuterung zu des Sextus Empiricus Pyrrhoneischen
Grundzuegen_, Heidelberg, 1882.
Pappenheim, _Die Tropen der Greichischen Skeptiker_, Berlin,
Pappenheim, _Lebensverhaeltnisse des Sextus Empiricus_, Berlin,
Pappenheim, _Der angebliche Heraclitismus des Skeptikers
Ainesidemos_, Berlin, 1887.
Pappenheim, _Der Sitz der Schule der Griechischen Skeptiker,
Archiv fuer Geschichte der Philosophie_, I. 1, S. 47, 1887.
Maccoll, _The Greek Sceptics from Pyrrho to Sextus_, London,
My grateful acknowledgments are due to Dr. Ludwig Stein,
Professor of Philosophy in the University of Bern, for valuable
assistance in relation to the plan of the work and advice in
regard to the best authorities to be consulted. Thanks are also
due to Dr. Louisos Iliou, of Robert College, Constantinople, for
kind suggestions concerning the translation.
THE HISTORICAL RELATIONS OF SEXTUS EMPIRICUS ... 1
Introductory paragraph.--The name of Sextus Empiricus.
His profession.--The time when he lived.--The place of
his birth.--The seat of the Sceptical School while Sextus
was at its head.--The character of the writings of Sextus
THE POSITION AND AIM OF PYRRHONIC SCEPTICISM ... 23
The subject-matter of the Hypotyposes.--The origin of
Pyrrhonism.--The nomenclature of Pyrrhonism.--Its
criterion.--Its aim.--[Greek: epoche] and [Greek: ataraxia].--The
standpoint of Pyrrhonism.
THE SCEPTICAL TROPES ... 31
Origin of the name.--The ten Tropes of [Greek: epoche].--The
First Trope.--The Second Trope.--The Third Trope.--The Fourth
Trope.--The Fifth Trope.--The Sixth Trope.--The Seventh
Trope.--The Eighth Trope.--The Ninth Trope.--The Tenth
Trope.--The five Tropes of Agrippa.--The two Tropes.--The Tropes
of Aenesidemus against Aetiology.
AENESIDEMUS AND THE PHILOSOPHY OF HERACLITUS ... 63
Statement of the problem.--The theory of Pappenheim.--The theory
of Brochard.--Zeller's theory.--The theory of Ritter and
Saisset.--The theory of Hirzel and Natorp.--Critical examination
of the subject.
CRITICAL EXAMINATION OF PYRRHONISM ... 81
Pyrrhonism and Pyrrho.--Pyrrhonism and the Academy. Strength and
weakness of Pyrrhonism.
* * * * *
THE FIRST BOOK OF THE PYRRHONIC SKETCHES BY SEXTUS
EMPIRICUS, TRANSLATED FROM THE GREEK ... 101
_The Historical Relations of Sextus Empiricus._
Interest has revived in the works of Sextus Empiricus in recent
times, especially, one may say, since the date of Herbart. There
is much in the writings of Sextus that finds a parallel in the
methods of modern philosophy. There is a common starting-point
in the study of the power and limitations of human thought.
There is a common desire to investigate the phenomena of
sense-perception, and the genetic relations of man to the lower
animals, and a common interest in the theory of human knowledge.
While, however, some of the pages of Sextus' works would form a
possible introduction to certain lines of modern philosophical
thought, we cannot carry the analogy farther, for Pyrrhonism as
a whole lacked the essential element of all philosophical
progress, which is a belief in the possibility of finding and
establishing the truth in the subjects investigated.
Before beginning a critical study of the writings of Sextus
Empiricus, and the light which they throw on the development of
Greek Scepticism, it is necessary to make ourselves somewhat
familiar with the environment in which he lived and wrote. We
shall thus be able to comprehend more fully the standpoint from
which he regarded philosophical questions.
Let us accordingly attempt to give some details of his life,
including his profession, the time when he lived, the place of
his birth, the country in which he taught, and the general aim
and character of his works. Here, however, we encounter great
difficulties, for although we possess most of the writings of
Sextus well preserved, the evidence which they provide on the
points mentioned is very slight. He does not give us
biographical details in regard to himself, nor does he refer to
his contemporaries in a way to afford any exact knowledge of
them. His name even furnishes us with a problem impossible of
solution. He is called [Greek: Sextos ho empeirikos] by Diogenes
Laertius: [Greek: Herodotou de diekouse Sextos ho empeirikos
hou kai ta deka ton skeptikon kai alla kallista' Sextou de
diekouse Satorninos ho Kythenas, empeirikos kai autos]. Although
in this passage Diogenes speaks of Sextus the second time
without the surname, we cannot understand the meaning otherwise
than that Diogenes considered Sextus a physician of the
Empirical School. Other evidence also is not wanting that Sextus
bore this surname. Fabricius, in his edition of the works of
Sextus, quotes from the _Tabella de Sectis Medicorum_ of
Lambecius the statement that Sextus was called Empiricus because
of his position in medicine.
Pseudo-Galen also refers to him as one of the directors of the
Empirical School, and calls him [Greek: Sextos ho
empeirikos]. His name is often found in the manuscripts
written with the surname, as for example at the end of _Logic
II_. In other places it is found written without the surname,
as Fabricius testifies, where Sextus is mentioned as a Sceptic
in connection with Pyrrho.
 Diog. Laert. IX. 12, 116.
 Fabricius _Testimonia_, p. 2.
 Pseudo-Galen _Isag._ 4; Fabricius _Testimonia_, p. 2.
 Bekker _Math._ VIII. 481.
The Sceptical School was long closely connected with the
Empirical School of medicine, and the later Pyrrhoneans, when
they were physicians, as was often the case, belonged for the
most part to this school. Menedotus of Nicomedia is the first
Sceptic, however, who is formally spoken of as an Empirical
physician, and his contemporary Theodas of Laodicea was also
an Empirical physician. The date of Menedotus and Theodas is
difficult to fix, but Brochard and Hass agree that it was about
150 A.D. After the time of these two physicians, who were
also each in turn at the head of the Sceptical School, there
seems to have been a definite alliance between Pyrrhonism and
Empiricism in medicine, and we have every reason to believe that
this alliance existed until the time of Sextus.
 Diog. IX. 12, 115.
 Brochard _Op. cit. Livre_ IV. p. 311.
 Diog. IX. 12, 116.
The difficulty in regard to the name arises from Sextus' own
testimony. In the first book of the _Hypotyposes_ he takes
strong ground against the identity of Pyrrhonism and Empiricism
in medicine. Although he introduces his objections with the
admission that "some say that they are the same," in recognition
of the close union that had existed between them, he goes on to
say that "Empiricism is neither Scepticism itself, nor would it
suit the Sceptic to take that sect upon himself", for the
reason that Empiricism maintains dogmatically the impossibility
of knowledge, but he would prefer to belong to the Methodical
School, which was the only medical school worthy of the Sceptic.
"For this alone of all the medical sects, does not proceed
rashly it seems to me, in regard to unknown things, and does not
presume to say whether they are comprehensible or not, but it is
guided by phenomena. It will thus be seen that the Methodical
School of medicine has a certain relationship to Scepticism
which is closer than that of the other medical sects."
 _Hyp_. I. 236.
 _Hyp_. I. 237.
 _Hyp_. I. 241.
We know from the testimony of Sextus himself that he was a
physician. In one case he uses the first person for himself as a
physician, and in another he speaks of Asclepius as "the
founder of our science," and all his illustrations show a
breadth and variety of medical knowledge that only a physician
could possess. He published a medical work which he refers to
once as [Greek: iatrika hupomnemata], and again as [Greek:
empeirika hupomnemata] These passages probably refer to the
same work, which, unfortunately for the solution of the
difficult question that we have in hand, is lost, and nothing is
known of its contents.
In apparent contradiction to his statement in _Hypotyposes_ I.,
that Scepticism and Empiricism are opposed to each other, in
that Empiricism denies the possibility of knowledge, and
Scepticism makes no dogmatic statements of any kind, Sextus
classes the Sceptics and Empiricists together in another
instance, as regarding knowledge as impossible [Greek: all oi
men phasin auta me katalambanesthai, hoster hoi apo tes
empeirias iatroi kai hoi apo tes skepseos phiolosophoi]. In
another case, on the contrary, he contrasts the Sceptics sharply
with the Empiricists in regard to the [Greek: apodeixeis].
[Greek: hoi de empeirikoi anairousin, hoi de skeptikoi en epoche
 _Hyp_. ii. 238.
 _Adv. Math_. A. 260.
 _Adv. Math_. vii. 202.
 _Adv. Math_. A. 61.
 Zeller _Op. cit._. iii. 43.
 _Adv. Math._ viii. 191.
 _Adv. Math._ VIII. 328.
Pappenheim thinks that Sextus belonged to the Methodical School,
both from his strong expression in favor of that school in
_Hyp_. I. 236, as above, and also because many of his
medical opinions, as found in his works, agree with the
teachings of the Methodical School, more nearly than with those
of the Empiricists. Pappenheim also claims that we find no
inconsistency with this view in the passage given where Sextus
classes the Sceptics with the Empiricists, but considers that
statement an instance of carelessness in expressing himself, on
the part of Sextus.
 _Lebensverhaeltnisse des Sex. Em._ 36.
The position of Pappenheim is assailable for the reason that in
dealing with any problem regarding an author on the basis of
internal evidence, we have no right to consider one of his
statements worthy of weight, and another one unworthy, on the
supposition that he expressed himself carelessly in the second
instance. Rather must we attempt to find his true standpoint by
fairly meeting all the difficulties offered in apparently
conflicting passages. This has been attempted by Zeller,
Brochard, Natorp and others, with the general result that all
things considered they think without doubt that Sextus belonged
to the Empirical School. His other references are too strong
to allow his fidelity to it to be doubted. He is called one of
the leaders of Empiricism by Pseudo-Galen, and his only medical
work bore the title [Greek: empeirika hupomnemata.] The opinion
of the writers above referred to is that the passage which we
have quoted from the _Hypotyposes_ does not necessarily mean
that Sextus was not an Empiricist, but as he was more of a
Sceptic than a physician, he gave preference to those doctrines
that were most consistent with Scepticism, and accordingly
claimed that it was not absolutely necessary that a Sceptic
physician should be an Empiricist. Natorp considers that the
different standpoint from which Sextus judges the Empirical and
Methodical Schools in his different works is accounted for on
the supposition that he was an Empiricist, but disagreed with
that school on the one point only. Natorp points out that
Sextus does not speak more favourably of the medical stand of
the Methodical School, but only compares the way in which both
schools regarded the question of the possibility of knowledge,
and thinks that Sextus could have been an Empiricist as a
physician notwithstanding his condemnation of the attitude of
the Empirical School in relation to the theory of knowledge.
This difference between the two schools was a small one, and on
a subtle and unimportant point; in fact, a difference in
philosophical theory, and not in medical practice.
 Brochard _Op. cit. Livre_ IV. 317; Zeller _Op. cit_.
III. 15; Natorp _Op. cit._ p. 155.
 Natorp _Op. cit_. 157.
While we would agree with the authors above referred to, that
Sextus very probably recognized the bond between the Empirical
School of medicine and Pyrrhonism, yet to make his possible
connection with that school the explanation of his name, gives
him more prominence as a physician than is consistent with what
we know of his career. The long continued union of Empiricism
and Scepticism would naturally support the view that Sextus was,
at least during the earlier part of his life, a physician of
that school, and yet it may be that he was not named Empiricus
for that reason. There is one instance in ancient writings where
Empiricus is known as a simple proper name. It may have been
a proper name in Sextus' case, or there are many other ways in
which it could have originated, as those who have studied the
origin of names will readily grant, perhaps indeed, from the
title of the above-named work, [Greek: empeirika hupomnemata.]
The chief argument for this view of the case is that there were
other leaders of the Sceptical School, for whom we can claim far
greater influence as Empiricists than for Sextus, and for whom
the surname Empiricus would have been more appropriate, if it
was given in consequence of prominence in the Empirical School.
Sextus is known to the world as a Sceptic, and not as a
physician. He was classed in later times with Pyrrho, and his
philosophical works survived, while his medical writings did
not, but are chiefly known from his own mention of them.
Moreover, the passage which we have quoted from the
_Hypotyposes_ is too strong to allow us easily to believe that
Sextus remained all his life a member of the Empirical School.
He could hardly have said, "Nor would it suit the Sceptic to
take that sect upon himself," if he at the same time belonged to
it. His other references to the Empirical School, of a more
favorable character, can be easily explained on the ground of
the long continued connection which had existed between the two
schools. It is quite possible to suppose that Sextus was an
Empiricist a part of his life, and afterwards found the
Methodical School more to his liking, and such a change would
not in any way have affected his stand as a physician.
 Pappenheim _Leb. Ver. Sex. Em_. 6.
In regard to the exact time when Sextus Empiricus lived, we gain
very little knowledge from internal evidence, and outside
sources of information are equally uncertain. Diogenes Laertius
must have been a generation younger than Sextus, as he mentions
the disciple of Sextus, Saturninus, as an Empirical
physician. The time of Diogenes is usually estimated as the
first half of the third century A.D., therefore Sextus cannot
be brought forward later than the beginning of the century.
Sextus, however, directs his writings entirely against the
Dogmatics, by whom he distinctly states that he means the
Stoics, and the influence of the Stoics began to decline in
the beginning of the third century A.D. A fact often used as a
help in fixing the date of Sextus is his mention of Basilides
the Stoic, [Greek: alla kai oi stoikoi, os oi peri ton
Basileiden]. This Basilides was supposed to be identical with
one of the teachers of Marcus Aurelius. This is accepted by
Zeller in the second edition of his _History of Philosophy_, but
not in the third for the reason that Sextus, in all the work
from which this reference is taken, _i.e. Math_. VII.-XI.,
mentions no one besides Aenesidemus, who lived later than the
middle of the last century B.C. The Basilides referred to by
Sextus may be one mentioned in a list of twenty Stoics, in a
fragment of Diogenes Laertius, recently published in Berlin by
Val Rose. Too much importance has, however, been given to the
relation of the mention of Basilides the Stoic to the question
of the date of Sextus. Even if the Basilides referred to by
Sextus is granted to have been the teacher of Marcus Aurelius,
it only serves to show that Sextus lived either at the same time
with Marcus Aurelius or after him, which is a conclusion that we
must in any case reach for other reasons.
 Diog. IX. 12, 116.
 Ueberweg _Hist. of Phil._ p. 21.
 Hyp. I. 65.
 _Adv. Math_. VII. 258.
 Fabricius _Vita Sexti._
 Zeller _Op. cit_. III. 8.
 Brochard _Op. cit_. IV. 315.
The fact that has caused the greatest uncertainty in regard to
the date of Sextus is that Claudius Galen in his works mentions
several Sceptics who were also physicians of the Empirical
School, and often speaks of Herodotus, supposed to be
identical with the teacher of Sextus given by Diogenes
Laertius, but makes no reference whatever to Sextus. As
Galen's time passes the limit of the second century A.D., we
must either infer that Sextus was not the well-known physician
that he was stated to be by Pseudo-Galen, and consequently not
known to Galen, or that Galen wrote before Sextus became
prominent as a Sceptic. This silence on the part of Galen in
regard to Sextus increases the doubt, caused by Sextus' own
criticism of the Empirical School of medicine, as to his having
been an Empiricist. The question is made more complicated, as it
is difficult to fix the identity of the Herodotus so often
referred to by Galen. As Galen died about 200 A.D. at the age
of seventy, we should fix the date of Sextus early in the
third century, and that of Diogenes perhaps a little later than
the middle, were it not that early in the third century the
Stoics began to decline in influence, and could hardly have
excited the warmth of animosity displayed by Sextus. We must
then suppose that Sextus wrote at the very latter part of the
second century, and either that Galen did not know him, or that
Galen's books were published before Sextus became prominent
either as a physician or as a Sceptic. The fact that he may have
been better known as the latter than as the former does not
sufficiently account for Galen's silence, as other Sceptics are
mentioned by him of less importance than Sextus, and the latter,
even if not as great a physician as Pseudo-Galen asserts, was
certainly both a Sceptic and a physician, and must have belonged
to one of the two medical schools so thoroughly discussed by
Galen--either the Empirical or the Methodical. Therefore, if
Sextus were a contemporary of Galen, he was so far removed from
the circle of Galen's acquaintances as to have made no
impression upon him, either as a Sceptic or a physician, a
supposition that is very improbable. We must then fix the date
of Sextus late in the second century, and conclude that the
climax of his public career was reached after Galen had finished
those of his writings which are still extant.
 Zeller, III. 7.
 Diog. XI. 12, 116.
 Pappenheim _Lebens. Ver. Sex. Em._ 30.
 Zeller _Grundriss der Ges. der Phil._ p. 260.
Sextus has a Latin name, but he was a Greek; we know this from
his own statement. We also know that he must have been a
Greek from the beauty and facility of his style, and from his
acquaintance with Greek dialects. The place of his birth can
only, however, be conjectured, from arguments indirectly derived
from his writings. His constant references throughout his works
to the minute customs of different nations ought to give us a
clue to the solution of this question, but strange to say they
do not give us a decided one. Of these references a large
number, however, relate to the customs of Libya, showing a
minute knowledge in regard to the political and religious
customs of this land that he displays in regard to no other
country except Egypt. Fabricius thinks Libya was not his
birth place because of a reference which he makes to it in the
_Hypotyposes_--[Greek: Thrakon de kai Gaitoulon (Libyon de
ethnos touto)]. This conclusion is, however, entirely
unfounded, as the explanation of Sextus simply shows that the
people whom he was then addressing were not familiar with the
nations of Libya. Suidas speaks of two men called Sextus, one
from Chaeronea and one from Libya, both of whom he calls
Sceptics, and to one of whom he attributes Sextus' books. All
authorities agree in asserting that great confusion exists in
the works of Suidas; and Fabricius, Zeller, and Pappenheim place
no weight upon this testimony of Suidas. Haas, however,
contends that it is unreasonable to suppose that this
confusion could go as far as to attribute the writings of Sextus
Empiricus to Sextus of Chaeronea, and also make the latter a
Sceptic, and he considers it far more reasonable to accept the
testimony of Suidas, as it coincides so well with the internal
evidence of Sextus' writings in regard to his native land. It is
nevertheless evident, from his familiarity with the customs,
language, and laws of Athens, Alexandria and Rome, that he must
have resided at some time in each of these cities.
 _Adv. Math._ A. 246; _Hyp._ I. 152; _Hyp._ III. 211,
 Haas _Op. cit._ p. 10.
 _Hyp._ III. 213.
 Pappenheim _Lebens. Ver. Sex. Em._ 5, 22; Zeller _Op.
cit._ III. 39; Fabricius _Vita de Sextus_.
 Haas _Op. cit_. p. 6.
Of all the problems connected with the historical details of the
life of Sextus, the one that is the most difficult of solution,
and also the most important for our present purpose of making a
critical study of his teaching, is to fix the seat of the
Sceptical School during the time that he was in charge of it.
The _Hypotyposes_ are lectures delivered in public in that
period of his life. Where then were they delivered? We know that
the Sceptical School must have had a long continued existence as
a definite philosophical movement, although some have contended
otherwise. The fact of its existence as an organized direction
of thought, is demonstrated by its formulated teachings, and the
list given by Diogenes Laertius of its principal leaders, and
by references from the writings of Sextus. In the first book of
_Hypotyposes_ he refers to Scepticism as a distinct system of
philosophy, [Greek: kai taen diakrisin taes skepseos apo ton
parakeimenon autae philosophion]. He speaks also of the older
Sceptics, and the later Sceptics.
Pyrrho, the founder of the school, taught in Elis, his native
village; but even as early as the time of Timon, his immediate
follower, his teachings were somewhat known in Alexandria, where
Timon for a while resided. The immediate disciples of Timon,
as given by Diogenes, were not men known in Greece or mentioned
in Greek writings. Then we have the well-known testimony of
Aristocles the Peripatetic in regard to Aenesidemus, that he
taught Pyrrhonism in Alexandria--[Greek: echthes kai proaen
en Alexandreia tae kat' Aigypton Ainaesidaemos tis anazopyrein
aerxato ton huthlon touton].
 Diog. XI. 12, 115, 116.
 _Hyp_. I. 5.
 _Hyp_. I. 36.
 _Hyp_. I. 164.
 Chaignet _Op. cit._ 45.
 Aristocles of Euseb. _Praep. Ev._ XIV. E. 446.
This was after the dogmatic tendency of the Academy under
Antiochus and his followers had driven Pyrrhonism from the
partial union with the Academy, which it had experienced after
the breaking up of the school under the immediate successors of
Timon. Aenesidemus taught about the time of our era in
Alexandria, and established the school there anew; and his
followers are spoken of in a way that presupposes their
continuing in the same place. There is every reason to think
that the connection of Sextus with Alexandria was an intimate
one, not only because Alexandria had been for so long a time the
seat of Pyrrhonism, but also from internal evidence from his
writings and their subsequent historical influence; and yet the
_Hypotyposes_ could not have been delivered in Alexandria, as he
often refers to that place in comparison with the place where he
was then speaking. He says, furthermore, that he teaches in the
same place where his master taught. [Greek: Blepon te hoti
entha ho huphaegaetaes ho emos dielegeto, entautha ego nun
dialegomai]. Therefore the school must have been removed from
Alexandria, in or before the time of the teacher of Sextus, to
some other centre. The _Hypotyposes_ are from beginning to end a
direct attack on the Dogmatics; therefore Sextus must have
taught either in some city where the dogmatic philosophy was
strong, or in some rival philosophical centre. The _Hypotyposes_
show also that the writer had access to some large library.
Alexandria, Rome and Athens are the three places the most
probable for selection for such a purpose. For whatever reason
the seat of the school was removed from Alexandria by the master
of Sextus, or by himself, from the place where it had so long
been united with the Empirical School of medicine, Athens would
seem the most suitable city for its recontinuance, in the land
where Pyrrhonism first had its birth. Sextus, however, in one
instance, in referring to things invisible because of their
outward relations, says in illustration, "as the city of Athens
is invisible to us at present." In other places also he
contrasts the Athenians with the people whom he is addressing,
equally with the Alexandrians, thus putting Athens as well as
Alexandria out of the question.
 _Hyp._ III. 120.
 _Hyp._ II. 98.
Of the different writers on Sextus Empiricus, those who have
treated this part of the subject most critically are Haas and
Pappenheim. We will therefore consider, somewhat at length, the
results presented by these two authors. Haas thinks that the
_Hypotyposes_ were delivered in Rome for the following reasons.
Sextus' lectures must have been given in some centre of
philosophical schools and of learning. He never opposes Roman
relations to those of the place where he is speaking, as he does
in regard to Athens and Alexandria. He uses the name "Romans"
only three times, once comparing them to the Rhodians, once
to the Persians, and once in general to other nations. In the
first two of these references, the expression "among the Romans"
in the first part of the antithesis is followed by the
expression, "among us," in the second part, which Haas
understands to be synonymous. The third reference is in regard
to a Roman law, and the use of the word 'Roman' does not at all
show that Sextus was not then in Rome. The character of the laws
referred to by Sextus as [Greek: par' haemin] shows that they
were always Roman laws, and his definition of law is
especially a definition of Roman law. This argument might, it
would seem, apply to any part of the Roman Empire, but Haas
claims that the whole relation of law to custom as treated of by
Sextus, and all his statements of customs forbidden at that time
by law, point to Rome as the place of his residence. Further,
Haas considers the Herodotus mentioned by Galen as a
prominent physician in Rome, to have been the predecessor and
master of Sextus, in whose place Sextus says that he is
teaching. Haas also thinks that Sextus' refutation of the
identity of Pyrrhonism with Empiricism evidently refers to a
paragraph in Galen's _Subfiguratio Empirica_, which would be
natural if the _Hypotyposes_ were written shortly after Galen's
_Sub. Em._, and in the same place. Further, Hippolytus, who
wrote in or near Rome very soon after the time of Sextus,
apparently used the _Hypotyposes_, which would be more natural
if he wrote in the same place. According to Haas, every thing in
internal evidence, and outward testimony, points to Rome as
having been the city where Sextus occupied his position as the
head of the Sceptical School.
 Haas _Op. cit._ p. 15.
 _Hyp._ I. 149, 152; III. 211.
 _Hyp._ I. 146.
 Galen _de puls._ IV. 11; Bd. VIII. 751.
 _Hyp_. III. 120.
 Galen _Sub. Em._ 123 B-126 D. (Basileae, 1542).
Coming now to the position of Pappenheim on this subject, we
find that he takes very decided ground against the seat of the
Sceptical School having been in Rome, even for a short time, in
his latest publication regarding it. This opinion is the
result of late study on the part of Pappenheim, for in his work
on the _Lebensverhaeltnisse des Sextus Empiricus_ Berlin 1875, he
says, "Dass Herodotus in Rom lebte sagt Galen. Vermuthlich auch
Sextus." His reasons given in the later article for not
connecting the Sceptical School at all with Rome are as follows.
He finds no proof of the influence of Scepticism in Rome, as
Cicero remarks that Pyrrhonism is extinct, and he also gives
weight to the well-known sarcastic saying of Seneca, _Quis est
qui tradat praecepta Pyrrhonis!_ While Haas claims that
Sextus would naturally seek one of the centres of dogmatism, in
order most effectively to combat it, Pappenheim, on the
contrary, contends that it would have been foolishness on the
part of Sextus to think of starting the Sceptical School in
Rome, where Stoicism was the favored philosophy of the Roman
Emperors; and when either for the possible reason of strife
between the Empirical and Methodical Schools, or for some other
cause, the Pyrrhonean School was removed from Alexandria,
Pappenheim claims that all testimony points to the conclusion
that it was founded in some city of the East. The name of Sextus
is never known in Roman literature, but in the East, on the
contrary, literature speaks for centuries of Sextus and Pyrrho.
The _Hypotyposes_, especially, were well-known in the East, and
references to Sextus are found there in philosophical and
religious dogmatic writings. The Emperor Julian makes use of the
works of Sextus, and he is frequently quoted by the Church
Fathers of the Eastern Church. Pappenheim accordingly
concludes that the seat of Pyrrhonism after the school was
removed from Alexandria, was in some unknown city of the East.
 Pappenheim _Sitz der Skeptischen Schule. Archiv fuer
Geschichte der Phil._ 1888.
 Cicero _De Orat._ III. 17, 62.
 Seneca _nat. qu._ VII. 32. 2.
 Fabricius _de Sexto Empirico Testimonia_.
In estimating the weight of these arguments, we must accept with
Pappenheim the close connection of Pyrrhonism with Alexandria,
and the subsequent influence which it exerted upon the
literature of the East. All historical relations tend to fix the
permanent seat of Pyrrhonism, after its separation from the
Academy, in Alexandria. There is nothing to point to its removal
from Alexandria before the time of Menodotus, who is the teacher
of Herodotus, and for many reasons to be considered the real
teacher of Sextus. It was Menodotus who perfected the Empirical
doctrines, and who brought about an official union between
Scepticism and Empiricism, and who gave Pyrrhonism in great
measure, the _eclat_ that it enjoyed in Alexandria, and who
appears to have been the most powerful influence in the school,
from the time of Aenesidemus to that of Sextus. Furthermore,
Sextus' familiarity with Alexandrian customs bears the imprint
of original knowledge, and he cannot, as Zeller implies, be
accepted as simply quoting. One could hardly agree with
Zeller, that the familiarity shown by Sextus with the customs
of both Alexandria and Rome in the _Hypotyposes_ does not
necessarily show that he ever lived in either of those places,
because a large part of his works are compilations from other
books; but on the contrary, the careful reader of Sextus' works
must find in all of them much evidence of personal knowledge of
Alexandria, Athens and Rome.
 Diog. IX. 12, 116.
 Zeller _Op. cit._ III. p. 39.
A part of Sextus' books also may have been written in
Alexandria. [Greek: Pros phusikous] could have been written in
Alexandria. If these were also lectures, then Sextus taught
in Alexandria as well as elsewhere. The history of Eastern
literature for the centuries immediately following the time of
Sextus, showing as it does in so many instances the influence of
Pyrrhonism, and a knowledge of the _Hypotyposes_, furnishes us
with an incontestable proof that the school could not have been
for a long time removed from the East, and the absence of such
knowledge in Roman literature is also a strong argument against
its long continuance in that city. It would seem, however, from
all the data at command, that during the years that the
Sceptical School was removed from Alexandria, its head quarters
were in Rome, and that the Pyrrhonean _Hypotyposes_ were
delivered in Rome. Let us briefly consider the arguments in
favour of such a hypothesis. Scepticism was not unknown in Rome.
Pappenheim quotes the remark of Cicero that Pyrrhonism was long
since dead, and the sarcasm of Seneca, _Quis est qui tradat
praecepta Pyrrhonis?_ as an argument against the knowledge of
Pyrrhonism in Rome. We must remember, however, that in Cicero's
time Aenesidemus had not yet separated himself from the Academy;
or if we consider the Lucius Tubero to whom Aenesidemus
dedicated his works, as the same Lucius Tubero who was the
friend of Cicero in his youth, and accordingly fix the date of
Aenesidemus about 50 B.C., even then Aenesidemus' work in
Alexandria was too late to have necessarily been known to
Cicero, whose remark must have been referred to the old school
of Scepticism. Should we grant, however, that the statements of
Cicero and Seneca prove that in their time Pyrrhonism was
extinct in Rome, they certainly do not show that after their
death it could not have again revived, for the _Hypotyposes_
were delivered more than a century after the death of Seneca.
There are very few writers in Aenesidemus' own time who showed
any influence of his teachings. This influence was felt
later, as Pyrrhonism became better known. That Pyrrhonism
received some attention in Rome before the time of Sextus is
nevertheless demonstrated by the teachings of Favorinus there.
Although Favorinus was known as an Academician, the title of his
principal work was [Greek: tous philosophoumenous auto ton
logon, hon aristoi hoi Purrhoneioi]. Suidas calls Favorinus a
great author and learned in all science and philosophy, and
Favorinus made Rome the centre of his teaching and writing. His
date is fixed by Zeller at 80-150 A.D., therefore Pyrrhonism was
known in Rome shortly before the time of Sextus.
 Pappenheim _Sitz der Skeptischen Schule; Archiv fuer
Geschichte der Phil._, 1888; _Adv. Math._ X. 15, 95.
 Zeller _Op. cit._ III. 10.
 Zeller _Op. cit._ p. 63.
 Zeller _Op. cit._ p. 67.
 Brochard _Op. cit._ 329.
The whole tone of the _Hypotyposes_, with the constant
references to the Stoics as living present opponents, shows that
these lectures must have been delivered in one of the centres of
Stoicism. As Alexandria and Athens are out of the question, all
testimony points to Rome as having been the seat of the
Pyrrhonean School, for at least a part of the time that Sextus
was at its head. We would then accept the teacher of Sextus, in
whose place he says he taught, as the Herodotus so often
referred to by Galen who lived in Rome. Sextus' frequent
references to Asclepiades, whom he mentions ten different times
by name in his works, speak in favour of Rome in the matter
under discussion, as Asclepiades made that city one of the
centres of medical culture. On the other hand, the fact that
there is no trace of the _Hypotyposes_ in later Roman
literature, with the one exception of the works of Hippolytus,
as opposed to the wide-spread knowledge of them shown in the
East for centuries, is incontestable historical proof that the
Sceptical School could not long have had its seat at Rome. From
the two passages given above from Sextus' work against physics,
he must either have written that book in Alexandria, it would
seem, or have quoted those passages from some other work. May we
not then conclude, that Sextus was at the head of the school in
Rome for a short time, where it may have been removed
temporarily, on account of the difficulty with the Empiricists,
implied in _Hyp_. I. 236-241, or in order to be better able to
attack the Stoics, but that he also taught in Alexandria, where
the real home of the school was certainly found? There it
probably came to an end about fifty years after the time of
Sextus, and from that centre the Sceptical works of Sextus had
their wide-spread influence in the East.
 Galen VIII. 751.
 Bekker _Index_.
The books of Sextus Empiricus furnish us with the best and
fullest presentation of ancient Scepticism which has been
preserved to modern times, and give Sextus the position of one
of the greatest men of the Sceptical School. His works which are
still extant are the _Pyrrhonean Hypotyposes_ in three volumes,
and the two works comprising eleven books which have been united
in later times under the title of [Greek: pros mathematikous],
one of which is directed against the sciences in general, and
the other against the dogmatic philosophers. The six books
composing the first of these are written respectively against
grammarians, rhetoricians, geometricians, arithmeticians,
astronomers and musicians. The five books of the latter consist
of two against the logicians, two against physics, and one
against systems of morals. If the last short work of the first
book directed against the arithmeticians is combined with the
one preceding against the geometricians, as it well could be,
the two works together would be divided into ten different
parts; there is evidence to show that in ancient times such a
division was made. There were two other works of Sextus which
are now lost, the medical work before referred to, and a book
entitled [Greek: peri psuches]. The character of the extant
works of Sextus is similar, as they are all directed either
against science or against the dogmatics, and they all present
the negative side of Pyrrhonism. The vast array of arguments
comprising the subject-matter, often repeated in the same and
different forms, are evidently taken largely from the Sceptical
works which Sextus had resource to, and are, in fact, a summing
up of all the wisdom of the Sceptical School. The style of these
books is fluent, and the Greek reminds one of Plutarch and
Thucydides, and although Sextus does not claim originality, but
presents in all cases the arguments of the Sceptic, yet the
illustrations and the form in which the arguments are presented,
often bear the marks of his own thought, and are characterized
here and there by a wealth of humor that has not been
sufficiently noticed in the critical works on Sextus. Of all the
authors who have reviewed Sextus, Brochard is the only one who
seems to have understood and appreciated his humorous side.
We shall now proceed to the consideration of the general
position and aim of Pyrrhonism.
 Diog. IX. 12, 116.
_The Position and Aim of Pyrrhonism_.
The first volume of the _Pyrrhonean Hypotyposes_ gives the most
complete statement found in any of the works of Sextus Empiricus
of the teachings of Pyrrhonism and its relation to other schools
of philosophy. The chief source of the subject-matter presented
is a work of the same name by Aenesidemus, either directly
used by Sextus, or through the writings of those who followed
Aenesidemus. The comprehensive title [Greek: Purrhoneioi
hupotuposeis] was very probably used in general to designate
courses of lectures given by the leaders of the Sceptical
In the opening chapters of the _Hypotyposes_ Sextus undertakes
to define the position and aim of Pyrrhonism. In introducing
his subject he treats briefly of the differences between
philosophical schools, dividing them into three classes; those
which claim that they have found the truth, like the schools of
Aristotle and Epicurus and the Stoics; those which deny the
possibility of finding it, like that of the Academicians; and
those that still seek it, like the Sceptical School. The
accusation against the Academicians, that they denied the
possibility of finding the truth, was one that the Sceptics were
very fond of making. We shall discuss the justice of it later,
simply remarking here, that to affirm the "incomprehensibility
of the unknown," was a form of expression that the Pyrrhonists
themselves were sometimes betrayed into, notwithstanding their
careful avoidance of dogmatic statements.
 Diog. IX. 11, 78.
 _Hyp._ I. 3, 4.
 _Adv. Math._ VIII. 191.
After defining the three kinds of philosophy as the Dogmatic,
the Academic and the Sceptic, Sextus reminds his hearers that he
does not speak dogmatically in anything that he says, but that
he intends simply to present the Sceptical arguments
historically, and as they appear to him. He characterizes his
treatment of the subject as general rather than critical,
including a statement of the character of Scepticism, its idea,
its principles, its manner of reasoning, its criterion and aim,
and a presentation of the Tropes, or aspects of doubt, and the
Sceptical formulae and the distinction between Scepticism and
the related schools of philosophy.
The result of all the gradual changes which the development of
thought had brought about in the outward relations of the
Sceptical School, was to increase the earnestness of the claim
of the Sceptics to be simply followers of Pyrrho, the great
founder of the movement. In discussing the names given to the
Sceptics, Sextus gives precedence very decidedly to the title
"Pyrrhonean," because Pyrrho appears the best representative of
Scepticism, and more prominent than all who before him occupied
themselves with it.
It was a question much discussed among philosophers in ancient
times, whether Pyrrhonism should be considered a philosophical
sect or not. Thus we find that Hippobotus in his work entitled
[Greek: peri haireseon], written shortly before our era, does
not include Pyrrhonism among the other sects. Diogenes
himself, after some hesitation remarking that many do not
consider it a sect, finally decides to call it so.
 _Hyp._ I. 5, 6.
 _Hyp._ I. 7.
 Diog. _Pro._ 19.
 Diog. _Pro._ 20.
Sextus in discussing this subject calls Scepticism an [Greek:
agoge], or a movement, rather than a [Greek: hairesis], saying
that Scepticism is not a sect, if that word implies a systematic
arrangement of dogmas, for the Sceptic has no dogmas. If,
however, a sect may mean simply the following of a certain
system of reasoning according to what appears to be true, then
Scepticism is a sect. From a quotation given later on by
Sextus from Aenesidemus, we know that the latter used the term
[Greek: agoge]. Sextus gives also the other titles, so well
known as having been applied to Scepticism, namely, [Greek:
zetetike], [Greek: ephektike], and [Greek: aporetike]. The
[Greek: dunamis] of Scepticism is to oppose the things of
sense and intellect in every possible way to each other, and
through the equal weight of things opposed, or [Greek:
isostheneia], to reach first the state of suspension of
judgement, and afterwards ataraxia, or "repose and tranquillity
of soul." The purpose of Scepticism is then the hope of
ataraxia, and its origin was in the troubled state of mind
induced by the inequality of things, and uncertainty in regard
to the truth. Therefore, says Sextus, men of the greatest talent
began the Sceptical system by placing in opposition to every
argument an equal one, thus leading to a philosophical system
without a dogma, for the Sceptic claims that he has no dogma.
The Sceptic is never supposed to state a decided opinion, but
only to say what appears to him. Even the Sceptical formulae,
such as "Nothing more," or "I decide nothing," or "All is
false," include themselves with other things. The only
statements that the Sceptic can make, are in regard to his own
sensations. He cannot deny that he is warm or cold or hungry.
 _Hyp._ I. 15, 17.
 _Hyp._ I. 210.
 _Hyp._ I. 7; Diog. IX. 11, 70.
 _Hyp._ I. 8.
 _Hyp._ I. 10.
 _Hyp._ I. 12.
 _Hyp._ I. 14.
 _Hyp._ I. 14.
Sextus replies to the charge that the Sceptics deny phenomena by
refuting it. The Sceptic does not deny phenomena, because
they are the only criteria by which he can regulate his actions.
"We call the criterion of the Sceptical School the phenomenon,
meaning by this name the idea of it." Phenomena are the only
things which the Sceptic does not deny, and he guides his life
by them. They are, however, subjective. Sextus distinctly
affirms that sensations are the phenomena, and that they lie
in susceptibility and voluntary feeling, and that they
constitute the appearances of objects. We see from this that
Sextus makes the only reality to consist in subjective
experience, but he does not follow this to its logical
conclusion, and doubt the existence of anything outside of mind.
He rather takes for granted that there is a something unknown
outside, about which the Sceptic can make no assertions.
Phenomena are the criteria according to which the Sceptic orders
his daily life, as he cannot be entirely inactive, and they
affect life in four different ways. They constitute the guidance
of nature, the impulse of feeling; they give rise to the
traditions of customs and laws, and make the teaching of the
arts important. According to the tradition of laws and
customs, piety is a good in daily life, but it is not in itself
an abstract good. The Sceptic of Sextus' time also inculcated
the teaching of the arts, as indeed must be the case with
professing physicians, as most of the leading Sceptics were.
Sextus says, "We are not without energy in the arts which we
undertake." This was a positive tendency which no philosophy,
however negative, could escape, and the Sceptic tried to avoid
inconsistency in this respect, by separating his philosophy from
his theory of life. His philosophy controlled his opinions, and
his life was governed by phenomena.
 _Hyp._ I. 19.
 _Hyp._ I. 19.
 _Hyp._ I. 22; Diog. IX. 11, 105.
 _Hyp._ I. 22.
 _Hyp._ I. 23.
 _Hyp._ I. 24.
The aim of Pyrrhonism was ataraxia in those things which pertain
to opinion, and moderation in the things which life imposes.
In other words, we find here the same natural desire of the
human being to rise above and beyond the limitations which pain
and passion impose, which is expressed in other forms, and under
other names, in other schools of philosophy. The method,
however, by which ataraxia or peace of mind could be reached,
was peculiar to the Sceptic. It is a state of psychological
equilibrium, which results from the equality of the weight of
different arguments that are opposed to each other, and the
consequent impossibility of affirming in regard to either one,
that it is correct. The discovery of ataraxia was, in the
first instance, apparently accidental, for while the Sceptic
withheld his opinion, unable to decide what things were true,
and what things were false, ataraxia fortunately followed.
After he had begun to philosophize, with a desire to
discriminate in regard to ideas, and to separate the true from
the false during the time of [Greek: epoche], or suspension
of judgement, ataraxia followed as if by chance, as the shadow
follows the body.
 _Hyp._ I. 25.
 _Hyp._ I. 26.
 _Hyp._ I. 26.
 Diog. IX. 11, 107.
 _Hyp._ I. 29.
The Sceptic in seeking ataraxia in the things of opinion, does
not entirely escape from suffering from his sensations. He is
not wholly undisturbed, for he is sometimes cold and hungry, and
so on. He claims, nevertheless, that he suffers less than the
dogmatist, who is beset with two kinds of suffering, one from
the feelings themselves, and also from the conviction that they
are by nature an evil. To the Sceptic nothing is in itself
either an evil or a good, and so he thinks that "he escapes from
difficulties easier." For instance, he who considers riches a
good in themselves, is unhappy in the loss of them, and in
possession of them is in fear of losing them, while the Sceptic,
remembering the Sceptical saying "No more," is untroubled in
whatever condition he may be found, as the loss of riches is no
more an evil than the possession of them is a good. For he
who considers anything good or bad by nature is always troubled,
and when that which seemed good is not present with him, he
thinks that he is tortured by that which is by nature bad, and
follows after what he thinks to be good. Having acquired it,
however, he is not at rest, for his reason tells him that a
sudden change may deprive him of this thing that he considers a
good. The Sceptic, however, endeavours neither to avoid nor
seek anything eagerly.
 _Hyp._ I. 30.
 _Hyp._ I. 30.
 _Hyp._ I. 30; Diog. IX. 11, 61.
 _Adv. Math._ XI. 146-160.
 _Hyp._ I. 27.
 _Hyp._ I. 28.
Ataraxia came to the Sceptic as success in painting the foam on
a horse's mouth came to Apelles the painter. After many attempts
to do this, and many failures, he gave up in despair, and threw
the sponge at the picture that he had used to wipe the colors
from the painting with. As soon as it touched the picture it
produced a representation of the foam. Thus the Sceptics were
never able to attain to ataraxia by examining the anomaly
between the phenomena and the things of thought, but it came to
them of its own accord just when they despaired of finding it.
The intellectual preparation for producing ataraxia, consists in
placing arguments in opposition to each other, both in regard to
phenomena, and to things of the intellect. By placing the
phenomenal in opposition to the phenomenal, the intellectual to
the intellectual, and the phenomenal to the intellectual, and
_vice versa_, the present to the present, past, and future, one
will find that no argument exists that is incontrovertible. It
is not necessary to accept any statement whatever as true, and
consequently a state of [Greek: epoche] may always be
maintained. Although ataraxia concerns things of the opinion,
and must be preceded by the intellectual process described
above, it is not itself a function of the intellect, or any
subtle kind of reasoning, but seems to be rather a unique form
of moral perfection, leading to happiness, or is itself
 _Hyp._ I. 28, 29.
 _Hyp._ I. 32-35.
It was the aim of Scepticism to know nothing, and to assert
nothing in regard to any subject, but at the same time not to
affirm that knowledge on all subjects is impossible, and
consequently to have the attitude of still seeking. The
standpoint of Pyrrhonism was materialistic. We find from the
teachings of Sextus that he affirmed the non-existence of the
soul, or the ego, and denied absolute existence
altogether. The introductory statements of Diogenes regarding
Pyrrhonism would agree with this standpoint.
There is no criterion of truth in Scepticism. We cannot prove
that the phenomena represent objects, or find out what the
relation of phenomena to objects is. There is no criterion to
tell us which one is true of all the different representations
of the same object, and of all the varieties of sensation that
arise through the many phases of relativity of the conditions
which control the character of the phenomena.
Every effort to find the truth can deal only with phenomena, and
absolute reality can never be known.
 _Adv. Math._ VII. 55; _Hyp._ II. 32.
 _Adv. Math._ XI. 140.
 Diog. IX. 11, 61.
_The Sceptical Tropes_.
The exposition of the Tropes of Pyrrhonism constitutes
historically and philosophically the most important part of the
writings of Sextus Empiricus. These Tropes represent the sum
total of the wisdom of the older Sceptical School, and were held
in high respect for centuries, not only by the Pyrrhoneans, but
also by many outside the narrow limits of that School. In the
first book of the _Hypotyposes_ Sextus gives two classes of
Tropes, those of [Greek: epoche] and the eight Tropes of
Aenesidemus against Aetiology.
The Tropes of [Greek: epoche] are arranged in groups of ten,
five and two, according to the period of the Sceptical School to
which they belong; the first of these groups is historically the
most important, or the Ten Tropes of [Greek: epoche], as these
are far more closely connected with the general development of
Scepticism, than the later ones. By the name [Greek: tropos] or
Trope, the Sceptic understood a manner of thought, or form of
argument, or standpoint of judgement. It was a term common in
Greek philosophy, used in this sense, from the time of
Aristotle. The Stoics, however, used the word with a
different meaning from that attributed to it by the Sceptics.
Stephanus and Fabricius translate it by the Latin word
_modus_ and [Greek: tropos] also is often used
interchangeably with the word [Greek: logos] by Sextus, Diogenes
Laertius, and others; sometimes also as synonymous with [Greek:
topos], and [Greek: typos] is found in the oldest edition of
Sextus. Diogenes defines the word as the standpoint, or
manner of argument, by which the Sceptics arrived at the
condition of doubt, in consequence of the equality of
probabilities, and he calls the Tropes, the ten Tropes of
doubt. All writers on Pyrrhonism after the time of
Aenesidemus give the Tropes the principal place in their
treatment of the subject. Sextus occupies two thirds of the
first book of the _Hypotyposes_ in stating and discussing them;
and about one fourth of his presentation of Scepticism is
devoted to the Tropes by Diogenes. In addition to these two
authors, Aristocles the Peripatetic refers to them in his attack
on Scepticism. Favorinus wrote a book entitled _Pyrrhonean
Tropes_, and Plutarch one called _The Ten ([Greek: topoi]) Topes
of Pyrrho_. Both of these latter works are lost.
 Pappenheim _Erlauterung Pyrrh. Grundzugen_, p. 35.
 Diog I. 76; _Adv. Math._ VIII. 227.
 Fabricius, Cap. XIV. 7.
 _Hyp._ I. 36.
 Fabricius on _Hyp._ I. 36; Cap. XIV. G.
 Diog. IX. 11, 79-108.
 Aristocles _Euseb. praep. ev._ X. 14, 18.
 Fabricius on _Hyp._ I. 36.
All authorities unite in attributing to Aenesidemus the work of
systematizing and presenting to the world the ten Tropes of
[Greek: epoche]. He was the first to conceive the project of
opposing an organized philosophical system of Pyrrhonism to the
dogmatism of his contemporaries. Moreover, the fact that
Diogenes introduces the Tropes into his life of Pyrrho, does not
necessarily imply that he considered Pyrrho their author, for
Diogenes invariably combines the teachings of the followers of a
movement with those of the founders themselves; he gives these
Tropes after speaking of Aenesidemus' work entitled _Pyrrhonean
Hypotyposes_, and apparently quotes from this book, in giving at
least a part of his presentation of Pyrrhonism, either directly
or through, the works of others. Nietzsche proposes a correction
of the text of Diogenes IX. 11, 79, which would make him quote the
Tropes from a book by Theodosius, author of a commentary on
the works of Theodas. No writer of antiquity claims for the
Tropes an older source than the books of Aenesidemus, to whom
Aristocles also attributes them. They are not mentioned in
Diogenes' life of Timon, the immediate disciple of Pyrrho.
Cicero has no knowledge of them, and does not refer to them in
his discussion of Scepticism.
 Compare Saisset _Op. cit._ p. 78.
 Brochard _Op. cit._ 254, Note 4.
 Aristocles _Eus. praep. ev._ XIV. 18. 8.
Aenesidemus was undoubtedly the first to formulate these Tropes,
but many things tend to show that they resulted, in reality,
from the gradual classification of the results of the teachings
of Pyrrho, in the subsequent development of thought from his own
time to that of Aenesidemus. The ideas contained in the Tropes
were not original with Aenesidemus, but are more closely
connected with the thought of earlier times. The decidedly
empirical character of the Tropes proves this connection, for
the eight Tropes of Aetiology, which were original with
Aenesidemus, bear a far stronger dialectic stamp, thus showing a
more decided dialectic influence of the Academy than is found in
the Tropes of [Greek: epoche]. Many of the illustrations given
of the Tropes also, testify to a time of greater antiquity than
that of Aenesidemus. The name Trope was well known in ancient
times, and the number ten reminds us of the ten opposing
principles of Pythagoras, and the ten categories of Aristotle,
the fourth of which was the same as the eighth Trope. The
terminology, however, with very few exceptions, points to a
later period than that of Pyrrho. Zeller points out a number of
expressions in both Diogenes' and Sextus' exposition of the
Tropes, which could not date back farther than the time of
Aenesidemus. One of the most striking features of the whole
presentation of the Tropes, especially as given by Sextus, is
their mosaic character, stamping them not as the work of one
person, but as a growth, and also an agglutinous growth, lacking
very decidedly the symmetry of thought that the work of one mind
would have shown.
 Zeller _Op. cit._ p. 25.
At the time of the separation of Pyrrhonism from the Academy, no
other force was as strong in giving life to the school as the
systematic treatment by Aenesidemus of the Ten Tropes of [Greek:
epoche]. The reason of this is evident. It was not that the
ideas of the Sceptical Tropes were original with Aenesidemus,
but because a definite statement of belief is always a far more
powerful influence than principles which are vaguely understood
and accepted. There is always, however, the danger to the
Sceptic, in making a statement even of the principles of
Scepticism, that the psychological result would be a dogmatic
tendency of mind, as we shall see later was the case, even with
Aenesidemus himself. That the Sceptical School could not escape
the accusation of dogmatizing, from the Dogmatics, even in
stating the grounds of their Scepticism, we know from
Diogenes. To avoid this dogmatic tendency of the ten Tropes,
Sextus makes the frequent assertion that he does not affirm
things to be absolutely true, but states them as they appear to
him, and that they may be otherwise from what he has said.
 Diog. IX. 11, 102.
 _Hyp._ I. 4, 24.
Sextus tells us that "Certain Tropes, ten in number, for
producing the state of [Greek: epoche] have been handed down
from the older Sceptics." He refers to them in another work
as the "Tropes of Aenesidemus." There is no evidence that the
substance of these Tropes was changed after the time of
Aenesidemus, although many of the illustrations given by Sextus
must have been of a later date, added during the two centuries
that elapsed between the time of Aenesidemus and Sextus. In
giving these Tropes Sextus does not claim to offer a systematic
methodical classification, and closes his list of them, in their
original concise form, with the remark, "We make this order
ourselves." The order is given differently by Diogenes, and
also by Favorinus. The Trope which Sextus gives as the tenth
is the fifth given by Diogenes, the seventh by Sextus is the
eighth given by Diogenes, the fifth by Sextus, the seventh by
Diogenes, the tenth by Diogenes, the eighth by Sextus. Diogenes
says that the one he gives as the ninth Favorinus calls the
eighth, and Sextus and Aenesidemus the tenth. This statement
does not correspond with the list of the Tropes which Sextus
gives, proving that Diogenes took some other text than that of
Sextus as his authority. The difference in the order of the
Tropes shows, also, that the order was not considered a matter
of great importance. There is a marked contrast in the spirit of
the two presentations of the Tropes given by Sextus and
Diogenes. The former gives them not only as an orator, but as
one who feels that he is defending his own cause, and the school
of which he is the leader, against mortal enemies, while
Diogenes relates them as an historian.
 _Hyp._ I. 36.
 _Adv. Math._ VII. 345.
 _Hyp._ I. 38.
 Diog. IX. 11, 87.
 Diog. IX. 11, 87.
Pappenheim tries to prove that Aenesidemus originally gave
only nine Tropes in his _Pyrrhonean Hypotyposes_, as Aristocles
mentions only nine in referring to the Tropes of Aenesidemus,
and that the tenth was added later. Had this been the case,
however, the fact would surely have been mentioned either by
Diogenes or Sextus, who both refer to the ten Tropes of
The Tropes claim to prove that the character of phenomena is so
relative and changeable, that certain knowledge cannot be based
upon them, and as we have shown, there is no other criterion of
knowledge for the Sceptic than phenomena. All of the Tropes,
except the tenth, are connected with sense-perception, and
relate to the difference of the results obtained through the
senses under different circumstances. They may be divided into
two classes, _i.e._, those based upon differences of our
physical organism, and those based upon external differences. To
the first class belong the first, second, third and fourth; to
the second class, the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth, and also
the ninth. The eighth, or that of relation, is applied
objectively both by Sextus and Diogenes in their treatment of
the Tropes, and is not used for objects of thought alone, but
principally to show the relation of outward objects to each
other. The tenth is the only one which has a moral significance,
and it has also a higher subjective value than the others; it
takes its arguments from an entirely different sphere of
thought, and deals with metaphysical and religious
contradictions in opinion, and with the question of good and
evil. That this Trope is one of the oldest, we know from its
distinct mention in connection with the foundation theories of
Pyrrho, by Diogenes. In treating of the subjective reasons
for doubt as to the character of external reality, the Sceptics
were very near the denial of all outward reality, a point,
however, which they never quite reached.
 Pappenheim, _Die Tropen der Griechen_, p. 23.
 _Hyp._ I. 22.
 Diog. IX. 11, 61.
There is evidently much of Sextus' own thought mixed with the
illustrations of the Tropes, but it is impossible to separate
the original parts from the material that was the common
property of the Sceptical School. Many of these illustrations
show, however, perfect familiarity with the scientific and
medical teachings of the time. Before entering upon his
exposition of the Tropes, Sextus gives them in the short concise
form in which they must first have existed--
(i) Based upon the variety of animals.
(ii) Based upon the differences between men.
(iii) Based upon differences in the constitution of
the sense organs.
(iv) Based upon circumstances.
(v) Based upon position, distance and place.
(vi) Based upon mixtures.
(vii) Based upon the quantities and constitutions
(ix) Based upon frequency or rarity of occurences.
(x) Based upon systems, customs and laws,
mythical beliefs, and dogmatic opinions.
 _Hyp._ I. 36-38.
Although Sextus is careful not to dogmatise regarding the
arrangement of the Tropes, yet there is in his classification of
them a regular gradation, from the arguments based upon
differences in animals to those in man, first considering the
latter in relation to the physical constitution, and then to
circumstances outside of us, and finally the treatment of
metaphysical and moral differences.
_The First Trope_. That the same mental representations are
not found in different animals, may be inferred from their
differences in constitution resulting from their different
origins, and from the variety in their organs of sense. Sextus
takes up the five senses in order, giving illustrations to prove
the relative results of the mental representations in all of
them, as for example the subjectivity of color and sound.
All knowledge of objects through the senses is relative and not
absolute. Sextus does not, accordingly, confine the
impossibility of certain knowledge to the qualities that Locke
regards as secondary, but includes also the primary ones in this
statement. The form and shape of objects as they appear to us
may be changed by pressure on the eyeball. Furthermore, the
character of reflections in mirrors depend entirely on their
shape, as the images in concave mirrors are very different from
those in convex ones; and so in the same way as the eyes of
animals are of different shapes, and supplied with different
fluids, the ideas of dogs, fishes, men and grasshoppers must be
 _Hyp._. I. 40-61.
 _Hyp._. I. 44-46.
 _Hyp._. I. 50.
 _Hyp._. I. 47.
 _Hyp._. I. 49.
In discussing the mental representations of animals of different
grades of intelligence, Sextus shows a very good comprehension
of the philogenetic development of the organs of sense, and
draws the final conclusion that external objects are regarded
differently by animals, according to their difference in
constitution. These differences in the ideas which different
animals have of the same objects are demonstrated by their
different tastes, as the things desired by some are fatal to
others. The practical illustrations given of this result show
a familiarity with natural history, and cognizance of the tastes
and habits of many animals, but were probably few of them
original with Sextus, unless perhaps in their application; that
this train of reasoning was the common property of the Sceptic
School, we know from the fact that Diogenes begins his
exposition of the first Trope in a way similar to that of
Sextus. His illustrations are, however, few and meagre
compared with those of Sextus, and the scientific facts used by
both of them may mostly be found in other authors of antiquity
given in a similar way. The logical result of the reasoning
used to explain the first Trope, is that we cannot compare the
ideas of the animals with each other, nor with our own; nor can
we prove that our ideas are more trustworthy than those of the
animals. As therefore an examination of ideas is impossible,
any decided opinion about their trustworthiness is also
impossible, and this Trope leads to the suspension of judgment
regarding external objects, or to [Greek: epoche.]
 _Hyp._. I. 54.
 _Hyp._. I. 55.
 _Hyp._. I. 55-59.
 Diog. IX. 11, 79-80.
 Pappenheim _Erlauterung Pyrr. Grundzuege Par_. 41.
 _Hyp_. I. 59.
 _Hyp_. I. 61.
After reaching this conclusion, Sextus introduces a long chapter
to prove that animals can reason. There is no reference to this
in Diogenes, but there is other testimony to show that it was a
favourite line of argument with the Sceptics. Sextus,
however, says that his course of reasoning is different from
that of most of the Sceptics on the subject, as they usually
applied their arguments to all animals, while he selected only
one, namely the dog. This chapter is full of sarcastic
attacks on the Dogmatics, and contains the special allusion to
the Stoics as the greatest opponents of the Sceptics, which has
been before referred to.
Sextus claims with a greater freedom of diction than in some
apparently less original chapters, and with a wealth of special
illustrations, that the dog is superior to man in acuteness of
perception, that he has the power of choice, and possesses an
art, that of hunting, and, also, is not deprived of
virtue, as the true nature of virtue is to show justice to
all, which the dog does by guarding loyally those who are kind
to him, and keeping off those who do evil. The reasoning
power of this animal is proved by the story taken from
Chrysippus, of the dog that came to a meeting of three roads in
following a scent. After seeking the scent in vain in two of the
roads, he takes the third road without scenting it as a result
of a quick process of thought, which proves that he shares in
the famous dialectic of Chrysippus, the five forms of [Greek:
_anapodeiktoi logoi_,] of which the dog chooses the fifth.
Either _A_ or _B_ or _C_, not _A_ or _B,_ therefore _C_.
 _Hyp_. I. 238.
 Compare Brochard _Op. cit._ 256.
 _Hyp_. I. 62-63.
 _Hyp_. I. 65.
 _Hyp_. I. 64.
 _Hyp_. I. 66.
 _Hyp_. I. 67.
 _Hyp_. I. 67.
 _Hyp_. I. 69; _Hyp_. II. 166; Diog. VII. 1, 79.
The dog and other irrational animals may also possess spoken
language, as the only proof that we have to the contrary, is the
fact that we cannot understand the sounds that they make. We
have an example in this chapter of the humor of Sextus, who
after enlarging on the perfect character of the dog, remarks,
"For which reason it seems to me some philosophers have honoured
themselves with the name of this animal," thus making a
sarcastic allusion to the Cynics, especially Antisthenes.
 _Hyp_. I. 74.
 _Hyp_. I. 72.
 Diog. VI. 1, 13.
_The Second Trope_. Passing on to the second Trope, Sextus aims
to prove that even if we leave the differences of the mental
images of animals out of the discussion, there is not a
sufficient unanimity in the mental images of human beings to
allow us to base any assertions upon them in regard to the
character of external objects. He had previously announced
that he intended to oppose the phenomenal to the intellectual
"in any way whatever," so he begins here by referring to the
two parts of which man is said to be composed, the soul and the
body, and proceeds to discuss the differences among men in
sense-perception and in opinion. Most of the illustrations
given of differences in sense-perception are medical ones; of
the more general of these I will note the only two which are
also given by Diogenes in his exposition of this Trope, viz.,
Demophon, Alexander's table waiter, who shivered in the sun, and
Andron the Argive, who was so free from thirst that he travelled
through the desert of Libya without seeking a drink. Some have
reasoned from the presence of the first of these illustrations
in the exposition of the Tropes, that a part of this material at
least goes back to the time of Pyrrho, as Pyrrho from his
intimacy with Alexander, when he accompanied him to India, had
abundant opportunities to observe the peculiarities of his
servant Demophon. The illustration of Andron the Argive is
taken from Aristotle, according to Diogenes.
 _Hyp_. I. 79.
 _Hyp._ I. 8.
 _Hyp._ I. 80.
 Diog. IX. 11, 80-81.
 Compare _Pyrrhon et le Scepticism primitive, Revue
phil._, Paris 1885, No. 5; Victor Brochard, p. 521.
 Diog. IX. 11, 81.
Passing on to differences of opinion, we have another example of
the sarcastic humor of Sextus, as he refers to the [Greek:
physiognomonike sophia] as the authority for believing that
the body is a type of the soul. As the bodies of men differ, so
the souls also probably differ. The differences of mind among
men is not referred to by Diogenes, except in the general
statement that they choose different professions; while Sextus
elaborates this point, speaking of the great differences in
opposing schools of philosophy, and in the objects of choice and
avoidance, and sources of pleasure for different men. The
poets well understand this marked difference in human desires,
as Homer says,
"One man enjoys this, another enjoys that."
Sextus also quotes the beautiful lines of Pindar,
"One delights in getting honours and crowns through
Others in passing life in rooms rich in gold,
Another safe travelling enjoys, in a swift ship,
on a wave of the sea."
 _Hyp._ I. 85.
 _Hyp._ I. 87-89.
 _Hyp._ I. 86.
_The Third Trope_. The third Trope limits the argument to the
sense-perceptions of one man, a Dogmatic, if preferred, or to
one whom the Dogmatics consider wise, and states that as the
ideas given by the different sense organs differ radically in a
way that does not admit of their being compared with each other,
they furnish no reliable testimony regarding the nature of
objects. "Each of the phenomena perceived by us seems to
present itself in many forms, as the apple, smooth, fragrant
brown and sweet." The apple was evidently the ordinary example
given for this Trope, for Diogenes uses the same, but in a much
more condensed form, and not with equal understanding of the
results to be deduced from it. The consequence of the
incompatibility of the mental representations produced through
the several sense organs by the apple, may be the acceptance of
either of the three following propositions: (i) That only those
qualities exist in the apple which we perceive. (ii) That more
than these exist. (iii) That even those perceived do not
exist. Accordingly, any experience which can give rise to
such different views regarding outward objects, cannot be relied
upon as a testimony concerning them.
 _Hyp._ I. 90.
 _Hyp._ I. 94.
 Diog. IX. 11 81.
 _Hyp._ I. 99.
The non-homogeneous nature of the mental images connected with
the different sense organs, as presented by Sextus, reminds us
of the discussion of the same subject by Berkeley in his _Theory
Sextus says that a man born with less than the usual number of
senses, would form altogether different ideas of the external
world than those who have the usual number, and as our ideas of
objects depend on our mental images, a greater number of sense
organs would give us still different ideas of outward
reality. The strong argument of the Stoics against such
reasoning as this, was their doctrine of pre-established harmony
between nature and the soul, so that when a representation is
produced in us of a real object, a [Greek: kataleptike
phantasia], by this representation the soul grasps a real
existence. There is a [Greek: logos] in us which is of the same
kind, [Greek: syngenos], or in relation to all nature. This
argument of pre-established harmony between the faculties of the
soul and the objects of nature, is the one that has been used in
all ages to combat philosophical teaching that denies that we
apprehend the external world as it is. It was used against Kant
by his opponents, who thought in this way to refute his
teachings. The Sceptics could not, of course, accept a theory
of nature that included the soul and the external world in one
harmonious whole, but Sextus in his discussion of the third
Trope does not refute this argument as fully as he does later in
his work against logic. He simply states here that
philosophers themselves cannot agree as to what nature is, and
furthermore, that a philosopher himself is a part of the
discord, and to be judged, rather than being capable of judging,
and that no conclusion can be reached by those who are
themselves an element of the uncertainty.
 _Hyp._ I. 96-97.
 _Adv. Math._ VII. 93.
 Ueberweg _Op. cit._ 195.
 _Adv. Math._ VII. 354.
 _Hyp._ I. 98-99.
_The Fourth Trope_. This Trope limits the argument to each
separate sense, and the effect is considered of the condition of
body and mind upon sense-perception in relation to the several
sense-organs. The physical states which modify
sense-perception are health and illness, sleeping and waking,
youth and age, hunger and satiety, drunkenness and sobriety. All
of these conditions of the body entirely change the character of
the mental images, producing different judgments of the color,
taste, and temperature of objects, and of the character of
sounds. A man who is asleep is in a different world from one
awake, the existence of both worlds being relative to the
condition of waking and sleeping.
The subjective states which Sextus mentions here as modifying
the character of the mental representations are hating or
loving, courage or fear, sorrow or joy, and sanity or
insanity. No man is ever twice in exactly the same condition
of body or mind, and never able to review the differences of his
ideas as a sum total, for those of the present moment only are
subject to careful inspection. Furthermore, no one is free
from the influence of all conditions of body or mind, so that he
can be unbiassed to judge his ideas, and no criterion can be
established that can be shown to be true, but on the contrary,
whatever course is pursued on the subject, both the criterion
and the proof will be thrown into the _circulus in probando_,
for the truth of each rests on the other.
 _Hyp._ I. 100.
 _Hyp._ I. 104.
 _Hyp._ I. 100.
 _Hyp._ I. 112.
 _Hyp._ I. 117.
Diogenes gives in part the same illustrations of this Trope, but
in a much more condensed form. The marked characteristic of this
train of reasoning is the attempt to prove that abnormal
conditions are also natural. In referring at first to the
opposing states of body and mind, which so change the character
of sense-perception, Sextus classifies them according to the
popular usage as [Greek: kata physin] and [Greek: para physin].
This distinction was an important one, even with Aristotle, and
was especially developed by the Stoics in a broader sense
than referring merely to health and sickness. The Stoics,
however, considered only normal conditions as being according to
nature. Sextus, on the contrary, declares that abnormal states
are also conditions according to nature, and just as those
who are in health are in a state that is natural to those who
are in health, so also those not in health are in a state that
is natural to those not in health, and in some respects
according to nature. Existence, then, and non-existence are not
absolute, but relative, and the world of sleep as really exists
for those who are asleep as the things that exist in waking
exist, although they do not exist in sleep. One mental
representation, therefore, cannot be judged by another, which is
also in a state of relation to existing physical and mental
conditions. Diogenes states this principle even more decidedly
in his exposition of this Trope. "The insane are not in a
condition opposed to nature; why they more than we? For we also
see the sun as if it were stationary." Furthermore, in
different periods of life ideas differ. Children are fond of
balls and hoops, while those in their prime prefer other things,
and the aged still others. The wisdom contained in this Trope
in reference to the relative value of the things most sought
after is not original with Sextus, but is found in the more
earnest ethical teachings of older writers. Sextus does not,
however, draw any moral conclusions from this reasoning, but
only uses it as an argument for [Greek: epoche].
 Diog. VII. 1, 86.
 _Hyp._ I. 103.
 _Hyp._ I. 104.
 Diog. IX. 11, 82.
 _Hyp._ I. 106.
_The Fifth Trope_. This Trope leaves the discussion of the
dependence of the ideas upon the physical nature, and takes up
the influence of the environment upon them. It makes the
difference in ideas depend upon the position, distance, and
place of objects, thus taking apparently their real existence
for granted. Things change their form and shape according to the
distance from which they are observed, and the position in which
The same light or tone alters decidedly in different
surroundings. Perspective in paintings depends on the angle at
which the picture is suspended. With Diogenes this Trope is
the seventh, and his exposition of it is similar, but as
usual, shorter. Both Sextus and Diogenes give the
illustration of the neck of the dove differing in color in
different degrees of inclination, an illustration used by
Protagoras also to prove the relativity of perception by the
senses. "The black neck of the dove in the shade appears black,
but in the light sunny and purple." Since, then, all
phenomena are regarded in a certain place, and from a certain
distance, and according to a certain position, each of which
relations makes a great difference with the mental images, we
shall be obliged also by this Trope to come to the reserving of
 _Hyp._ I. 118.
 _Hyp._ I. 120.
 Diog. IX. 11, 85.
 _Hyp._ I. 120; Diog. IX. 11, 86.
 _Schol. zu Arist._ 60, 18, ed. Brandis; Pappen. _Er.
Pyrr. Grundzuege_, p. 54.
 _Hyp._ I. 121.
_The Sixth Trope_. This Trope leads to [Greek: epoche] regarding
the nature of objects, because no object can ever be presented
to the organs of sense directly, but must always be perceived
through some medium, or in some mixture. This mixture may be
an outward one, connected with the temperature, or the rarity of
the air, or the water surrounding an object, or it may be a
mixture resulting from the different humors of the
sense-organs. A man with the jaundice, for example, sees
colors differently from one who is in health. The illustration
of the jaundice is a favorite one with the Sceptics. Diogenes
uses it several times in his presentation of Scepticism, and it
occurs in Sextus' writings in all, as an illustration, in eight
different places. The condition of the organ of the [Greek:
hegemonikon], or the ruling faculty, may also cause mixtures.
Pappenheim thinks that we have here Kant's idea of _a priori_,
only on a materialistic foundation. A careful consideration
of the passage, however, shows us that Sextus' thought is more
in harmony with the discoveries of modern psychiatry than with
the philosophy of Kant. If the sentence, [Greek: isos de kai
aute (he dianoia) epimixian tina idian poieitai pros ta hypo ton
aistheseon anangellomena], stood alone, without further
explanation, it might well refer to _a priori_ laws of thought,
but the explanation which follows beginning with "because" makes
that impossible. "Because in each of the places where the
Dogmatics think that the ruling faculty is, we see present
certain humors, which are the cause of mixtures." Sextus does
not advance any opinion as to the place of the ruling faculty in
the body, which is, according to the Stoics, the principal part
of the soul, where ideas, desires, and reasoning originate,
but simply refers to the two theories of the Dogmatics, which
claim on the one hand that it is in the brain, and on the other
that it is in the heart. This subject he deals with more
fully in his work against logic. As, however, he bases his
argument, in discussing possible intellectual mixtures in
illustration of the sixth Trope, entirely on the condition of
the organ of the intellect, it is evident that his theory of the
soul was a materialistic one.
 _Hyp._ I. 124.
 _Hyp._ I. 125.
 _Hyp._ I. 126.
 See Index to Bekker's edition of Sextus.
 Papp. _Er. Pyr. Gr._ p. 55.
 _Hyp._ I. 128.
 _Hyp._ I. 128.
 Diog. VII. 1, 159.
 _Hyp._ I. 128.
 _Adv. Math._ VII. 313.
_The Seventh Trope_. This Trope, based upon the quantities and
compositions of objects, is illustrated by examples of different
kinds of food, drink, and medicine, showing the different
effects according to the quantity taken, as the harmfulness and
the usefulness of most things depend on their quantity. Things
act differently upon the senses if applied in small or large
quantities, as filings of metal or horn, and separate grains of
sand have a different color and touch from the same taken in the
form of a solid. The result is that ideas vary according to
the composition of the object, and this Trope also brings to
confusion the existence of outward objects, and leads us to
reserve our opinion in regard to them. This Trope is
illustrated by Diogenes with exceeding brevity.
 _Hyp._ I. 129-131.
 _Hyp._ I. 134.
 Diog. IX. 11, 86.
_The Eighth Trope_. The Trope based upon relation contains, as
Sextus rightly remarks, the substance of the other nine, for
the general statement of the relativity of knowledge includes
the other statements made. The prominence which Sextus gave this
Trope in his introduction to the ten Tropes leads one to expect
here new illustrations and added arguments for [Greek:
epoche]. We find, however, neither of these, but simply a
statement that all things are in relation in one of two ways,
either directly, or as being a part of a difference. These two
kinds of relation are given by Protagoras, and might have been
used to good purpose in the introduction to the Tropes, or at
the end, to prove that all the others were really subordinate to
the eighth. The reasoning is, however simply applied to the
relation of objects to each other, and nothing is added that is
not found elsewhere where as an argument for [Greek: epoche].
This Trope is the tenth by Diogenes, and he strengthens his
reasoning in regard to it, by a statement that Sextus does not
directly make, _i.e._, that everything is in relation to the
 _Hyp._ I. 39.
 _Hyp._ I. 135-140.
 _Hyp._ I. 135-140.
 Diog. IX. 11, 88.
_The Ninth Trope_. This is based upon the frequency and rarity
of events, and refers to some of the phenomena of nature, such
as the rising of the sun, and the sea, as no longer a source of
astonishment, while a comet or an earthquake are wonders to
those not accustomed to them. The value of objects also
depends on their rarity, as for example the value of gold.
Furthermore, things may be valuable at one time, and at another
not so, according to the frequency and rarity of the
occurrence. Therefore this Trope also leads to [Greek:
epoche]. Diogenes gives only two illustrations to this Trope,
that of the sun and the earthquake.
 _Hyp._ I. 141-142.
 _Hyp._ I. 143.
 _Hyp._ I. 144.
 Diog. IX. 11, 87.
_The Tenth Trope_. We have already remarked on the difference in
the character of the tenth Trope, dealing as it does, not with
the ideas of objects, like the other nine Tropes, but with
philosophical and religious opinions, and questions of right and
wrong. It was the well-known aim of the Sceptics to submit to
the laws and customs of the land where they were found, and to
conform to certain moral teachings and religious ceremonies;
this they did without either affirming or denying the truth of
the principles upon which these teachings were based, and
also without any passion or strong feeling in regard to them,
as nothing in itself can be proved to be good or evil. The tenth
Trope accordingly, brings forward contradictions in customs,
laws, and the beliefs of different lands, to show that they are
also changeable and relative, and not of absolute worth. The
foundation-thought of this Trope is given twice by Diogenes,
once as we have before stated in his introduction to the life
of Pyrrho, and also as one of the Tropes. As it is apparently
one of the oldest of the Tropes, it would naturally be much used
in discussing with the Stoics, whose philosophy had such a wide
ethical significance, and must also have held an important place
in the Sceptical School in all metaphysical and philosophical
discussions. The definition in the beginning of Sextus'
exposition of this Trope Fabricius thinks was taken from
Aristotle, of schools, laws, customs, mythical beliefs and
dogmatic opinions, and the definition which Diogenes gives of
law in his life of Plato is similar. Pappenheim, however,
thinks they were taken from the Stoics, perhaps from
Chrysippus. The argument is based upon the differences in
development of thought, as affecting the standpoint of judgment
in philosophy, in morals, and religion, the results of which we
find in the widely opposing schools of philosophy, in the
variety in religious belief, and in the laws and customs of
different countries. Therefore the decisions reached in the
world of thought leave us equally in doubt regarding the
absolute value of any standards, with those obtained through
sense-perception, and the universal conflict of opinion
regarding all questions of philosophy and ethics leads us also
according to this Trope to the reserving of the opinion. This
Trope is the fifth as given by Diogenes, who placed it directly
after the first four which relate more especially to human
development, while Sextus uses it as the final one, perhaps
thinking that an argument based upon the higher powers of man
deserves the last place, or is the summation of the other
 _Hyp._ I. 24.
 _Hyp._ III. 235.
 Diog. IX. 11, 61.
 Diog. IX. 11, 83.
 _Hyp._ I. 145-147.
 Fabricius, Cap. IV. H.
 Diog. III. 86.
 Pappenheim _Gr. Pyrr. Grundzuege_, p. 50.
 _Hyp._ I. 163.
 Diog. IX. 11, 83.
Following the exposition of the ten Tropes of the older
Sceptics, Sextus gives the five Tropes which he attributes to
the "later Sceptics." Sextus nowhere mentions the author of
these Tropes. Diogenes, however, attributes them to Agrippa, a
man of whom we know nothing except his mention of him. He was
evidently one of the followers of Aenesidemus, and a scholar of
influence in the Sceptical School, who must have himself had
disciples, as Diogenes says, [Greek: hoi peri Agrippan] add
to these tropes other five tropes, using the plural verb.
Another Sceptic, also mentioned by Diogenes, and a man unknown
from other sources, named some of his books after Agrippa.
Agrippa is not given by Diogenes in the list of the leaders of
the Sceptical School, but his influence in the development of
the thought of the School must have been great, as the
transition from the ten Tropes of the "older Sceptics" to the
five attributed to Agrippa is a marked one, and shows the
entrance into the school of a logical power before unknown in
it. The latter are not a reduction of the Tropes of Aenesidemus,
but are written from an entirely different standpoint. The ten
Tropes are empirical, and aim to furnish objective proofs of the
foundation theories of Pyrrhonism, while the five are rather
rules of thought leading to logical proof, and are dialectic in
their character. We find this distinction illustrated by the
different way in which the Trope of relativity is treated in the
two groups. In the first it points to an objective relativity,
but with Agrippa to a general subjective logical principle. The
originality of the Tropes of Agrippa does not lie in their
substance matter, but in their formulation and use in the
Sceptical School. These methods of proof were, of course, not
new, but were well known to Aristotle, and were used by the
Sceptical Academy, and probably also by Timon, while the
[Greek: pros ti] goes back at least to Protagoras. The five
Tropes are as follows.
(i) The one based upon discord.
(ii) The _regressus in infinitum_.
(iv) The hypothetical.
(v) The _circulus in probando_.
Two of these are taken from the old list, the first and the
third, and Sextus says that the five Tropes are intended to
supplement the ten Tropes, and to show the audacity of the
Dogmatics in a variety of ways. The order of these Tropes is
the same with Diogenes as with Sextus, but the definitions of
them differ sufficiently to show that the two authors took their
material from different sources. According to the first one
everything in question is either sensible or intellectual, and
in attempting to judge it either in life, practically, or "among
philosophers," a position is developed from which it is
impossible to reach a conclusion. According to the second,
every proof requires another proof, and so on to infinity, and
there is no standpoint from which to begin the reasoning.
According to the third, all perceptions are relative, as the
object is colored by the condition of the judge, and the
influence of other things around it. According to the fourth,
it is impossible to escape from the _regressus in infinitum_ by
making a hypothesis the starting point, as the Dogmatics attempt
to do. And the fifth, or the _circulus in probando_, arises
when that which should be the proof needs to be sustained by the
thing to be proved.
 _Hyp._ I. 164.
 Diog. IX. 11, 88.
 Diog. IX. 11, 106.
 Diog. IX. 12, 115-116.
 Compare Natorp. _Op. cit._ p. 302.
 _Hyp._ I. 177.
 _Hyp._ I. 165.
 _Hyp._ I. 166.
 _Hyp._ I. 167.
 _Hyp._ I. 168.
Sextus claims that all things can be included in these Tropes,
whether sensible or intellectual. For whether, as some say,
only the things of sense are true, or as others claim, only
those of the understanding, or as still others contend, some
things both of sense and understanding are true, a discord must
arise that is impossible to be judged, for it cannot be judged
by the sensible, nor by the intellectual, for the things of the
intellect themselves require a proof; accordingly, the result of
all reasoning must be either hypothetical, or fall into the
_regressus in infinitum_ or the _circulus in probando_. The
reference above to some who say that only the things of sense
are true, is to Epicurus and Protagoras; to some that only the
things of thought are true, to Democritus and Plato; and to
those that claimed some of both to be true, to the Stoics and
the Peripatetics. The three new Tropes added by Agrippa have
nothing to do with sense-perception, but bear entirely upon the
possibility of reasoning, as demanded by the science of logic,
in contrast to the earlier ones which related almost entirely,
with the exception of the tenth, to material objects. Sextus
claims that these five Tropes also lead to the suspension of
judgment, but their logical result is rather the dogmatic
denial of all possibility of knowledge, showing as Hirzel has
well demonstrated, far more the influence of the New Academy
than the spirit of the Sceptical School. It was the
standpoint of the older Sceptics, that although the search for
the truth had not yet succeeded, yet they were still seekers,
and Sextus claims to be faithful to this old aim of the
Pyrrhonists. He calls himself a seeker, and in reproaching
the New Academy for affirming that knowledge is impossible,
Sextus says, "Moreover, we say that our ideas are equal as
regards trustworthiness and untrustworthiness." The ten
Tropes claim to establish doubt only in regard to a knowledge of
the truth, but the five Tropes of Agrippa aim to logically prove
the impossibility of knowledge. It is very strange that Sextus
does not see this decided contrast in the attitude of the two
sets of Tropes, and expresses his approval of those of Agrippa,
and makes more frequent use of the fifth of these, [Greek: ho
diallelos], in his subsequent reasoning than of any other
 _Hyp._ I. 169.
 _Hyp._ I. 170-171.
 _Adv. Math._ VIII. 185-186; VIII. 56; VII. 369.
 _Hyp._ I. 177.
 Hirzel _Op. cit._ p. 131.
 _Hyp._ I. 3, 7.
 _Hyp._ I. 227.
 See Index of Bekker's edition of Sextus' works.
We find here in the Sceptical School, shortly after the time of
Aenesidemus, the same tendency to dogmatic teaching that--so far
as the dim and shadowy history of the last years of the New
Academy can be unravelled, and the separation of Pyrrhonism can
be understood, at the time that the Academy passed over into
eclecticism--was one of the causes of that separation.
It is true that the Tropes of Agrippa show great progress in the
development of thought. They furnish an organisation of the
School far superior to what went before, placing the reasoning
on the firm basis of the laws of logic, and simplifying the
amount of material to be used. In a certain sense Saisset is
correct in saying that Agrippa contributed more than any other
in completing the organisation of Scepticism, but it is not
correct when we consider the true spirit of Scepticism with
which the Tropes of Agrippa were not in harmony. It was through
the very progress shown in the production of these Tropes that
the school finally lost the strength of its position.
Not content with having reduced the number of the Tropes from
ten to five, others tried to limit the number still further to
two. Sextus gives us no hint of the authorship of the two
Tropes. Ritter attributes them to Menodotus and his followers,
and Zeller agrees with that opinion, while Saisset thinks
that Agrippa was also the author of these, which is a strange
theory to propound, as some of the material of the five is
repeated in the two, and the same man could certainly not appear
as an advocate of five, and at the same time of two Tropes.
 Saisset _Op. cit._ p. 237.
 _Hyp._ I. 178.
 Zeller III. 38; Ritter IV. 277.
 Saisset _Op. cit._ p. 231.
The two Tropes are founded on the principle that anything must
be known through itself or through something else. It cannot be
known through itself, because of the discord existing between
all things of the senses and intellect, nor can it be known
through something else, as then either the _regressus in
infinitum_ or the _circulus in probando_ follow. Diogenes
Laertius does not refer to these two Tropes.
In regard to all these Tropes of the suspension of judgment,
Sextus has well remarked in his introduction to them, that they
are included in the eighth, or that of relation.
 _Hyp._ I. 178-179.
 _Hyp._ I. 39.
_The Tropes of Aetiology_. The eight Tropes against causality
belong chronologically before the five Tropes of Agrippa, in the
history of the development of sceptical thought. They have a
much closer connection with the spirit of Scepticism than the
Tropes of Agrippa, including, as they do, the fundamental
thought of Pyrrhonism, _i.e._, that the phenomena do not reveal
The Sceptics did not deny the phenomena, but they denied that
the phenomena are signs capable of being interpreted, or of
revealing the reality of causes. It is impossible by a research
of the signs to find out the unknown, or the explanation of
things, as the Stoics and Epicureans claim. The theory of
Aenesidemus which lies at the foundation of his eight Tropes
against aetiology, is given to us by Photius as follows:
"There are no visible signs of the unknown, and those who
believe in its existence are the victims of a vain illusion."
This statement of Aenesidemus is confirmed by a fuller
explanation of it given later on by Sextus. If phenomena are
not signs of the unknown there is no causality, and a refutation
of causality is a proof of the impossibility of science, as all
science is the science of causes, the power of studying causes
from effects, or as Sextus calls them, phenomena.
It is very noticeable to any one who reads the refutation of
causality by Aenesidemus, as given by Sextus, that there is
no reference to the strongest argument of modern Scepticism,
since the time of Hume, against causality, namely that the
origin of the idea of causality cannot be so accounted for as to
justify our relying upon it as a form of cognition.
 _Myriob._ 170 B. 12.
 _Adv. Math._ VIII. 207.
 _Hyp._ I. 180-186.
 Ueberweg _Op. cit._ p. 217.
The eight Tropes are directed against the possibility of
knowledge of nature, which Aenesidemus contested against in all
his Tropes, the ten as well as the eight. They are written
from a materialistic standpoint. These Tropes are given with
illustrations by Fabricius as follows:
I. Since aetiology in general refers to things that are unseen,
it does not give testimony that is incontestable in regard to
phenomena. For example, the Pythagoreans explain the distance of
the planets by a musical proportion.
II. From many equally plausible reasons which might be given for
the same thing, one only is arbitrarily chosen, as some explain
the inundation of the Nile by a fall of snow at its source,
while there could be other causes, as rain, or wind, or the
action of the sun.
III. Things take place in an orderly manner, but the causes
presented do not show any order, as for example, the motion of
the stars is explained by their mutual pressure, which does not
take into account the order that reigns among them.
IV. The unseen things are supposed to take place in the same way
as phenomena, as vision is explained in the same way as the
appearance of images in a dark room.
V. Most philosophers present theories of aetiology which agree
with their own individual hypotheses about the elements, but not
with common and accepted ideas, as to explain the world by atoms
like Epicurus, by homoeomeriae like Anaxagoras, or by matter and
form like Aristotle.
VI. Theories are accepted which agree with individual
hypotheses, and others equally probable are passed by, as
Aristotle's explanation of comets, that they are a collection of
vapors near the earth, because that coincided with his theory of
VII. Theories of aetiology are presented which conflict not only
with individual hypotheses, but also with phenomena, as to admit
like Epicurus an inclination or desire of the soul, which was
incompatible with the necessity which he advocated.
VIII. The inscrutable is explained by things equally
inscrutable, as the rising of sap in plants is explained by the
attraction of a sponge for water, a fact contested by some.
 _Hyp._ I. 98.
 _Hyp._ I. 180-186; Fabricius, Cap. XVII. 180 z.
Diogenes does not mention these Tropes in this form, but he
gives a _resume_ of the general arguments of the Sceptics
against aetiology, which has less in common with the eight
Tropes of Aenesidemus, than with the presentation of the subject
by Sextus later, when he multiplies his proofs exceedingly to
show [Greek: meden einai aition]. Although the Tropes of
Aenesidemus have a dialectic rather than an objective character,
it would not seem that he made the distinction, which is so
prominent with Sextus, between the signs [Greek: hypomnestika]
and [Greek: endeiktika], especially as Diogenes sums up his
argument on the subject with the general assertion, [Greek:
Semeion ouk einai], and proceeds to introduce the logical
consequence of the denial of aetiology. The summing up of the
Tropes of Aenesidemus is given as follows, in the _Hypotyposes_,
by Sextus:--"A cause in harmony with all the sects of
philosophy, and with Scepticism, and with phenomena, is perhaps
not possible, for the phenomena and the unknown altogether
It is interesting to remark in connection with the seventh of
these Tropes, that Aenesidemus asserts that causality has only a
subjective value, which from his materialistic standpoint was an
argument against its real existence, and the same argument is
used by Kant to prove that causality is a necessary condition of
Chaignet characterises the Tropes of Aenesidemus as false and
sophistical, but as Maccoll has well said, they are
remarkable for their judicious and strong criticism, and are
directed against the false method of observing facts through the
light of preconceived opinion. They have, however, a stronger
critical side than sceptical, and show the positive tendency of
the thought of Aenesidemus.
 Diog. IX. 11, 96-98.
 _Hyp._ III. 24-28.
 _Adv. Math._ VIII. 151.
 Diog. IX. 11, 96.
 _Hyp._ I. 185.
 Compare Maccoll _Op. cit._ p. 77.
 Chaignet _Op. cit._ 507.
 Maccoll _Op. cit._ p. 88.
_Aenesidemus and the Philosophy of Heraclitus._
A paragraph in the First Book of the _Hypotyposes_ which has
given rise to much speculation and many different theories, is
the comparison which Sextus makes of Scepticism with the
philosophy of Heraclitus. In this paragraph the statement is
made that Aenesidemus and his followers, [Greek: hoi peri ton
Ainesidemon], said that Scepticism is the path to the philosophy
of Heraclitus, because the doctrine that contradictory
predicates appear to be applicable to the same thing, leads the
way to the one that contradictory predicates are in reality
applicable to the same thing. [Greek: hoi peri ton
Ainesidemon elegon hodon einai ten skeptiken agogen epi ten
Herakleiteion philosophian, dioti proegeitai tou tanantia peri
to auto hyparchein to tanantia peri to auto phainesthai]. As the
Sceptics say that contradictory predicates appear to be
applicable to the same thing, the Heraclitans come from this to
the more positive doctrine that they are in reality so.
 _Hyp._ I. 210.
 _Hyp._ I. 210.
 _Hyp._ I. 210.
This connection which Aenesidemus is said to have affirmed
between Scepticism and the philosophy of Heraclitus is earnestly
combated by Sextus, who declares that the fact that
contradictory predicates appear to be applicable to the same
thing is not a dogma of the Sceptics, but a fact which presents
itself to all men, and not to the Sceptics only. No one for
instance, whether he be a Sceptic or not, would dare to say that
honey does not taste sweet to those in health, and bitter to
those who have the jaundice, so that Heraclitus begins from a
preconception common to all men, as to us also, and perhaps to
the other schools of philosophy as well. As the statement
concerning the appearance of contradictory predicates in regard
to the same thing is not an exclusively sceptical one, then
Scepticism is no more a path to the philosophy of Heraclitus
than to other schools of philosophy, or to life, as all use
common subject matter. "But we are afraid that the Sceptical
School not only does not help towards the knowledge of the
philosophy of Heraclitus, but even hinders that result. Since
the Sceptic accuses Heraclitus of having rashly dogmatised,
presenting on the one hand the doctrine of 'conflagration' and
on the other that 'contradictory predicates are in reality
applicable to the same thing.'" "It is absurd, then, to say
that this conflicting school is a path to the sect with which it
conflicts. It is therefore absurd to say that the Sceptical
School is a path to the philosophy of Heraclitus."
 _Hyp._ I. 211.
 _Hyp._ I. 212.
 _Hyp._ I. 212.
This is not the only place in the writings of Sextus which
states that Aenesidemus at some time of his life was an advocate
of the doctrines of Heraclitus. In no instance, however, where
Sextus refers to this remarkable fact, does he offer any
explanation of it, or express any bitterness against
Aenesidemus, whom he always speaks of with respect as a leader
of the Sceptical School. We are thus furnished with one of the
most difficult problems of ancient Scepticism, the problem of
reconciling the apparent advocacy of Aenesidemus of the
teachings of Heraclitus with his position in the Sceptical
A comparison with each other of the references made by Sextus
and other writers to the teachings of Aenesidemus, and a
consideration of the result, gives us two pictures of
Aenesidemus which conflict most decidedly with each other. We
have on the one hand, the man who was the first to give
Pyrrhonism a position as an influential school, and the first to
collect and present to the world the results of preceding
Sceptical thought. He was the compiler of the ten Tropes of
[Greek: epoche], and perhaps in part their author, and the
author of the eight Tropes against aetiology. He develops his
Scepticism from the standpoint that neither the senses nor the
intellect can give us any certain knowledge of reality. He
denied the possibility of studying phenomena as signs of the
unknown. He denied all possibility of truth, and the reality
of motion, origin and decay. There was according to his teaching
no pleasure or happiness, and no wisdom or supreme good. He
denied the possibility of finding out the nature of things, or
of proving the existence of the gods, and finally he declared
that no ethical aim is possible.
 _Hyp._ I. 180.
 Photius 170, B. 12.
 _Adv. Math._ VIII. 40.
The picture on the other hand, presented to us by Sextus and
Tertullian, is that of a man with a system of beliefs and
dogmas, which lead, he says, to the philosophy of Heraclitus. In
strange contradiction to his assertion of the impossibility of
all knowledge, he advocates a theory that the original substance
is air, which is most certainly a dogma, although indeed a
deviation from the teachings of Heraclitus, of which Sextus
seemed unconscious, as he says, [Greek: to te on kata ton
Herakleiton aer estin, hos physin ho Ainesidemos]. Aenesidemus
dogmatised also regarding number and time and unity of the
original world-stuff. He seems to have dogmatised further
about motion, and about the soul.
If Sextus' language is taken according to its apparent meaning,
we find ourselves here in the presence of a system of beliefs
which would be naturally held by a follower of the
Stoic-Heraclitan physics, and absolutely inexplicable from
the standpoint of a man who advocated so radical a Scepticism as
Aenesidemus. Sextus in the passage that we first quoted,
expresses great indignation against the idea that Scepticism
could form the path to the philosophy of Heraclitus, but he does
not express surprise or indignation against Aenesidemus
personally, or offer any explanation of the apparent
contradiction; and while his writings abound in references to
him as a respected leader of the Sceptical School, he sometimes
seems to include him with the Dogmatics, mentioning him with the
[Greek: dogmatikon philosophon]. In fact, the task of
presenting any consistent history of the development of thought
through which Aenesidemus passed is such a puzzling one, that
Brochard brilliantly remarks that possibly the best attitude to
take towards it would be to follow the advice of Aenesidemus
himself, and suspend one's judgment altogether regarding it. Is
it possible to suppose that so sharp and subtle a thinker as
Aenesidemus held at the same time such opposing opinions?
 _Adv. Math._ X. 233.
 _Adv. Math._ IX. 337; X. 216.
 _Adv. Math._ X. 38.
 _Adv. Math._ VII. 349.
 Compare Zeller _Op. cit._ III. p. 33.
 _Hyp._ I. 210-212.
 _Adv. Math._ VIII. 8; X. 215.
The conjecture that he was first a Heraclitan Stoic, and later a
Sceptic, which might be possible, does not offer any explanation
of Sextus' statement, that he regarded Scepticism as a path to
the philosophy of Heraclitus. Nor would it be logical to think
that after establishing the Sceptical School in renewed
influence and power, he reverted to the Heraclitan theories as
they were modified by the Stoics. These same theories were the
cause of his separation from the Academy, for his chief
accusation against the Academy was that it was adopting the
dogmatism of the Stoics. The matter is complicated by the
fact that Tertullian also attributes to Aenesidemus
anthropological and physical teachings that agree with the
Stoical Heraclitan doctrines. It is not strange that in view of
these contradictory assertions in regard to the same man, some
have suggested the possibility that they referred to two
different men of the same name, a supposition, however, that no
one has been able to authoritatively vindicate.
Let us consider briefly some of the explanations which have been
attempted of the apparent heresy of Aenesidemus towards the
Sceptical School. We will begin with the most ingenious, that of
Pappenheim claims that Sextus was not referring to Aenesidemus
himself in these statements which he joins with his name. In the
most important of these, the one quoted from the
_Hypotyposes_, which represents Aenesidemus as claiming that
Scepticism is the path to the philosophy of Heraclitus, the
expression used is [Greek: hoi peri ton Ainesidemon], and in
many of the other places where Sextus refers to the dogmatic
statements of Aenesidemus, the expression is either [Greek: hoi
peri ton Ainesidemon], or [Greek: Ainesidemos kath'
Herakleiton], while when Sextus quotes Aenesidemus to sustain
Scepticism, he uses his name alone.
 Compare Zeller _Op. cit._ III. p. 16.
 _Die angebliche Heraclitismus des Skeptikers
Ainesidemos_, Berlin 1889.
 _Hyp._ I. 210-212.
Pappenheim thinks that Sextus' conflict was not with the dead
Aenesidemus, who had lived two centuries before him, but with
his own contemporaries. He also seeks to prove that Sextus could
not have gained his knowledge of these sayings of Aenesidemus
from any of Aenesidemus' own writings, as neither by the
ancients, nor by later writers, was any book spoken of which
could well have contained them. Neither Aristocles nor Diogenes
mentions any such book.
Pappenheim also makes much of the argument that Sextus in no
instance seems conscious of inconsistency on the part of
Aenesidemus, even when most earnestly combating his alleged
teachings, but in referring to him personally he always speaks
of him with great respect.
Pappenheim suggests, accordingly, that the polemic of Sextus was
against contemporaries, those who accepted the philosophy of
Heraclitus in consequence of, or in some connection with, the
teachings of Aenesidemus. He entirely ignores the fact that
there is no trace of any such school or sect in history, calling
themselves followers of "Aenesidemus according to Heraclitus,"
but still thinks it possible that such a movement existed in
Alexandria at the time of Sextus, where so many different sects
were found. Sextus use Aenesidemus' name in four different
ways:--alone, [Greek: hoi peri ton Ainesidemon], [Greek:
Ainesidemos kath' Herakleiton], and in one instance [Greek: hoi
peri ton Ainesidemon kath' Herakleiton].
 _Adv. Math._ VIII. 8.
Pappenheim advances the theory that some of these contemporaries
against whom Sextus directed his arguments had written a book
entitled [Greek: Ainesidemos kath' Herakleiton], to prove the
harmony between Aenesidemus and Heraclitus, and that it was from
this book that Sextus quoted the dogmatic statements which he
introduced with that formula. He claims, further, that the
passage quoted from _Hypotyposes I._ even, is directed
against contemporaries, who founded their system of proofs of
the harmony between Aenesidemus and Heraclitus on the connection
of the celebrated formula which was such a favourite with the
Sceptics: "Contrary predicates appear to apply to the same
thing," with the apparent deduction from this, that "Contrary
predicates in reality apply to the same thing." Sextus wishes,
according to Pappenheim, to prove to these contemporaries that
they had misunderstood Aenesidemus, and Sextus does not report
Aenesidemus to be a Dogmatic, nor to have taught the doctrines
of Heraclitus; neither has he misunderstood Aenesidemus, nor
consequently misrepresented him; but on the contrary, these
dogmatic quotations have nothing to do with Aenesidemus, but
refer altogether to contemporaries who pretended to be Sceptics
while they accepted the teachings of Heraclitus. Sextus
naturally warmly combats this tendency, as he wishes to preserve
Brochard advocates a change of opinion on the part of
Aenesidemus as an explanation of the difficulty in question.
He starts from the supposition, the reasonableness of which we
shall consider later, that Aenesidemus had passed through one
change of opinion already when he severed his connection with
the New Academy; and to the two phases of his life, which such a
change has already made us familiar with, he adds a third.
Aenesidemus would not be the first who has accepted different
beliefs at different periods of his life, and Brochard claims
that such a development in the opinions of Aenesidemus is
logical. He does not accuse Aenesidemus of having, as might seem
from the perusal of Sextus, suddenly changed his basis, but
rather of having gradually come to accept much in the teachings
of Heraclitus. Aenesidemus modifies his Scepticism only to the
extent of pretending to know something of absolute reality. The
Sceptic says, "Contradictory predicates are apparently
applicable to the same thing," and Aenesidemus accepts the
Heraclitan result--"Contradictory predicates are in reality
applicable to the same thing." From Sextus' report, Aenesidemus
would seem to have renounced his position as a Sceptic in saying
that Scepticism is the path to the philosophy of Heraclitus. He
does not, however, renounce Scepticism, but he finds it
incomplete. In deliberating concerning the appearance of
contradictory predicates in regard to the same object, he would
naturally ask, "Whence come these contradictory appearances?"
After having doubted all things, he wished to know wherefore he
doubts. The system of Heraclitus offers a solution, and he
accepts it. Contradictory predicates produce equilibrium in the
soul because they are an expression of reality.
 Brochard _Op. cit._ 272.
As a Sceptic he claims that knowledge is impossible, and he does
not find that the statement of Heraclitus disproves this, but
rather that it supports his theory. He had denied the existence
of science. He still does so, but now he knows why he denies it.
Brochard asks why it is any more impossible that Aenesidemus
should have been a follower of Heraclitus than that Protagoras
was so, as Protagoras was after all a Sceptic. In conclusion,
Brochard claims that the dogmatic theories attributed to
Aenesidemus relate to the doctrine of the truth of contradictory
predicates, which seemed to him a logical explanation of the
foundation theories of Scepticism. It is right to call him a
Sceptic, for he was so, and that sincerely; and he deserves his
rank as one of the chiefs of the Sceptical School.
Coming now to the opinion of Zeller, we find that he
advocates a misconception of Aenesidemus on the part of Sextus.
The whole difficulty is removed, Zeller thinks, by the simple
fact that Sextus had not understood Aenesidemus; and as
Tertullian and Sextus agree in this misconception of the views
of Aenesidemus, they must have been misled by consulting a
common author in regard to Aenesidemus, who confused what
Aenesidemus said of Heraclitus with his own opinion. Zeller
maintains that the expression so often repeated by
Sextus--[Greek: Ainesidemos kath' Herakleiton]--shows that some
one of Aenesidemus' books contained a report of Heraclitus'
doctrines, as Aenesidemus was in the habit of quoting as many
authorities as possible to sustain his Scepticism. To justify
his quotations from Heraclitus, he had possibly given a short
abstract of Heraclitus' teachings; and the misconception
advocated by Zeller and found both in Tertullian and Sextus,
refers rather to the spirit than to the words quoted from
Aenesidemus, and is a misconception due to some earlier author,
who had given a false impression of the meaning of Aenesidemus
in quoting what Aenesidemus wrote about Heraclitus. That is to
say, Heraclitus was classed by Aenesidemus only among those who
prepared the way for Scepticism, just as Diogenes mentions
many philosophers in that way; and that Soranus and Sextus
both had the same misunderstanding can only be explained by a
mistake on the part of the authority whom they consulted.
 Zeller _Op. cit._ III, pp. 31-35; _Grundriss der
Geschichte der Griechischen Phil._ p. 263.
 Diog. Laert. IX. 11, 71-74.
This explanation, however, makes Sextus a very stupid man.
Aenesidemus' books were well known, and Sextus would most
certainly take the trouble to read them. His reputation as an
historian would not sustain such an accusation, as Diogenes
calls his books [Greek: ta deka ton skeptikon kai alla
kallista]. Furthermore, that Sextus used Aenesidemus' own
books we know from the direct quotation from them in regard to
Plato, which he combines with the ideas of Menodotus and
 Diog. IX. 12, 116.
 _Hyp._ I. 222.
 Following the Greek of Bekker.
Sextus' references to Aenesidemus in connection with Heraclitus
are very numerous, and it is absurd to suppose that he would
have trusted entirely to some one who reported him for authority
on such a subject. Even were it possible that Sextus did not
refer directly to the works of Aenesidemus, which we do not
admit, even then, there had been many writers in the Sceptical
School since the time of Aenesidemus, and they certainly could
not all have misrepresented him. We must remember that Sextus
was at the head of the School, and had access to all of its
literature. His honor would not allow of such a mistake, and if
he had indeed made it, his contemporaries must surely have
discovered it before Diogenes characterised his books as [Greek:
kallista]. Whatever may be said against the accuracy of Sextus
as a general historian of philosophy, especially in regard to
the older schools, he cannot certainly be accused of ignorance
respecting the school of which he was at that time the head.
The opinion of Ritter on this subject is that Aenesidemus must
have been a Dogmatic. Saisset contends that Aenesidemus
really passed from the philosophy of Heraclitus to that of
Pyrrho, and made the statement that Scepticism is the path to
the philosophy of Heraclitus to defend his change of view,
although in his case the change had been just the opposite to
the one he defends. Saisset propounds as a law in the history of
philosophy a fact which he claims to be true, that Scepticism
always follows sensationalism, for which he gives two examples,
Pyrrho, who was first a disciple of Democritus, and Hume, who
was a disciple of Locke It is not necessary to discuss the
absurdity of such a law, which someone has well remarked would
involve an _a priori_ construction of history. There is no
apparent reason for Saisset's conjecture in regard to
Aenesidemus, for it is exactly the opposite of what Sextus has
reported. Strange to say, Saisset himself remarks in another
place that we owe religious respect to any text, and that it
should be the first law of criticism to render this. Such
respect to the text of Sextus, as he himself advocates, puts
Saisset's explanation of the subject under discussion out of the
 Ritter, _Op. cit._ p. 280. Book IV.
 Saisset, _Op. cit._ p. 206.
 Saisset _Op. cit._ p. 206.
Hirzel and Natorp do not find such a marked contradiction in the
two views presented of the theories of Aenesidemus, nor do they
think that Sextus has misrepresented them. They rather maintain,
that in declaring the coexistence of contradictory predicates
regarding the same object, Aenesidemus does not cease to be a
Sceptic, for he did not believe that the predicates are
applicable in a dogmatic sense of the word, but are only
applicable in appearance, that is, applicable to phenomena. The
Heraclitism of Aenesidemus would be then only in appearance, as
he understood the statement, that "Contradictory predicates are
in reality applicable to the same thing," only in the phenomenal
sense. Hirzel says in addition, that contradictory predicates
are in reality applicable to those phenomena which are the same
for all, and consequently true, for Aenesidemus considered those
phenomena true that are the same for all. As Protagoras, the
disciple of Heraclitus, declared the relative character of
sensations, that things exist only for us, and that their nature
depends on our perception of them; so, in the phenomenal sense,
Aenesidemus accepts the apparent fact that contradictory
predicates in reality apply to the same thing.
 Natorp _Op. cit._ 115, 122.
 _Adv. Math._ VIII. 8; Hirzel _Op. cit._ p. 95.
This explanation entirely overlooks the fact that we have to do
with the word [Greek: huparchein], in the statement that
contradictory predicates in reality apply to the same thing;
while in the passage quoted where Aenesidemus declares common
phenomena to be true ones, we have the word [Greek: alethe], so
that this explanation of the difficulty would advocate a very
strange use of the word [Greek: huparchein].
All of these different views of the possible solution of this
perplexing problem are worthy of respect, as the opinion of men
who have given much thought to this and other closely Belated
subjects. While we may not altogether agree with any one of
them, they nevertheless furnish many suggestions, which are very
valuable in helping to construct a theory on the subject that
shall satisfactorily explain the difficulties, and present a
consistent view of the attitude of Aenesidemus.
First, in regard to the Greek expression [Greek: hoi peri] in
connection with proper names, upon which Pappenheim bases so
much of his argument. All Greek scholars would agree that the
expression does not apply usually only to the disciples of any
teacher, but [Greek: hoi peri ton Ainesidemon], for instance,
includes Aenesidemus with his followers, and is literally
translated, "Aenesidemus and his followers." It is noticeable,
however, in the writings of Sextus that he uses the expression
[Greek: hoi peri] often for the name of the founder of a school
alone, as Pappenheim himself admits. We find examples of this
in the mention of Plato and Democritus and Arcesilaus, as
[Greek: hoi peri ton Platona kai Demokriton] and [Greek: hoi
peri ton Arkesilaon], and accordingly we have no right to
infer that his use of the name Aenesidemus in this way has an
exceptional significance. It may mean Aenesidemus alone, or it
may signify Aenesidemus in connection with his followers.
 Pappenheim _Op. cit._ p. 21.
 _Adv. Math._ VIII. 6.
 _Adv. Math._ VII. 150.
In reply to Zeller's position, that Sextus and Tertullian have
misunderstood Aenesidemus, and quote from some common author who
misrepresents him, we would admit that such a misunderstanding
might be possible where Sextus gives long explanations of
Heraclitus' teachings, beginning with quoting Aenesidemus, and
continuing in such a way that it is not always possible to
distinguish just the part that is attributed to Aenesidemus; but
such a misunderstanding certainly cannot be asserted in regard
to the direct statement that Aenesidemus regarded Scepticism as
the path to the philosophy of Heraclitus, for the reasons
previously given. Neither would we agree with Brochard, whose
solution of the difficulty is on the whole the most logical,
_i.e._, that Aenesidemus had necessarily already passed through
two phases of philosophical belief. It is possible to admit a
gradual evolution of thought in Aenesidemus without supposing in
either case a change of basis. His withdrawal from the Academy
is an argument against, rather than in favor of a change on his
part, and was caused by the well-known change in the attitude of
Many of the teachings of the Sceptical School were taken
directly from the Academy, belonging to those doctrines
advocated in the Academy before the eclectic dogmatic tendency
introduced by Antiochus. In fact, Sextus himself claims a close
relation between the Middle Academy and Pyrrhonism.
Aenesidemus, although he was a Sceptic, belonged to the Academy,
and on leaving it became, as it were, a pioneer in Pyrrhonism,
and cannot be judged in the same way as we should judge a
Sceptic of Sextus' time.
It seems a self-evident fact that during the two centuries which
elapsed between the time of Aenesidemus and Sextus, the
standpoint of judgment in the Sceptical School had greatly
changed. An example illustrating this change we find in a
comparison of the presentation of Scepticism by Diogenes with
that of Sextus. The author Whom Diogenes follows, probably one
of the Sceptical writers, considers Xenophanes, Zeno, and
Democritus, Sceptics, and also Plato, while Sextus, in regard
to all of these men, opposes the idea that they were
Sceptics. Diogenes also calls Heraclitus a Sceptic, and even
Homer, and quotes sceptical sayings from the Seven Wise
Men; he includes in the list of Sceptics, Archilochus,
Euripides, Empedocles, and Hippocrates, and, furthermore,
says that Theodosius, probably one of the younger Sceptics,
objected to the name 'Pyrrhonean' on the ground that Pyrrho was
not the first Sceptic.
 _Hyp._ I. 232.
 Diog. IX. 11, 17-72.
 _Hyp._ I. 213-214; I. 223-225.
 Diog. IX. 11, 71.
 Diog. IX. 11, 71.
 Diog. IX. 11, 71-73.
 Diog. IX. 11. 70.
We have given the testimony from many sources to the effect that
before the time of Sextus the Empirical School of Medicine was
considered identical with Scepticism, although not so by Sextus
himself. From all of these things we may infer a narrowing of
the limits of Pyrrhonism in the time of Sextus.
Let us accept with Brochard the development of thought seen in
Aenesidemus from the beginning to the end of his career, without
agreeing with him that Aenesidemus ever consciously changed his
basis. He was a Sceptic in the Academy. He left the Academy on
that account, and he remained a Sceptic to the end, in so far as
a man can be a Sceptic, and take the positive stand that
Two things might account for his apparent dogmatism--
(i) The eclectic spirit of his time.
(ii) The psychological effect upon himself of this
careful systemisation of the Sceptical teachings.
Let us consider the first of these causes. Aenesidemus, although
not the first of the later Sceptics, was apparently the first to
separate himself from the Academy. He was the founder of a new
movement, the attempt to revive the older Scepticism as taught
by Pyrrho and Timon, and separate it from the dogmatic teachings
of the Stoics which were so greatly affecting the Scepticism of
the New Academy. It was the spirit of his time to seek to
sustain all philosophical teaching by the authority of as many
as possible of the older philosophers, and he could hardly
escape the tendency which his training in the Academy had
unconsciously given him. Therefore we find him trying to prove
that the philosophy of Heraclitus follows from Scepticism. It is
not necessary either to explain the matter, as both Hirzel and
Natorp so ingeniously attempt to do, by claiming that the truth
of contradictory predicates which Aenesidemus accepted from
Heraclitus referred only to phenomena. The history of philosophy
gives us abundant proof of the impossibility of absolute
Scepticism, and Aenesidemus furnishes us with one example of
many of this impossibility, and of the dogmatism that must exist
in connection with all thought. In the case of Aenesidemus, who
evidently gave the best efforts of his life to establish the
Sceptical School, the dogmatism was probably unconscious. That
he remained to the end a Sceptic is shown by the fact that he
was known as such to posterity. Nowhere do we find a change of
basis referred to in regard to him, and Sextus, in refuting the
mistakes which he attributes to Aenesidemus, does it, as it
were, to point out something of which Aenesidemus had been
Let us consider here the second cause of Aenesidemus' Dogmatism,
the psychological effect upon himself of formulating Sceptical
beliefs. The work that he did for the Sceptical School was a
positive one. It occupied years of his life, and stamped itself
upon his mental development. In formulating Scepticism, and in
advocating it against the many enemies of the School, and amidst
all the excitement of the disruption from the Academy, and of
establishing a new School, it was inevitable that his mind
should take a dogmatic tendency. He remained a Sceptic as he had
always been, but must have grown dogmatic in his attitude
towards the Sceptical formulae, and was thus able to adopt some
of the teachings of Heraclitus, unconscious of their
Where should we find a modern writer who is consistent in all
his statements? Could we read the works of Aenesidemus, we might
better understand the connection between the apparently
contradictory ideas in his teaching, but the inconsistencies in
statement would probably remain. It is necessary to remember the
position of Aenesidemus in breaking away from the Academy and in
founding a new school, the full significance of which he could
not foresee. There must necessarily be some crudeness in pioneer
work, and some failure to see the bearing of all its parts, and
a compiler like Sextus could point out the inconsistencies which
the two centuries since the time of Aenesidemus had made plain.
Aenesidemus was too positive a character to admit of absolute
Sceptical consistency. He was nevertheless the greatest thinker
the Sceptical School had known since the age of Pyrrho, its
founder. In claiming a union between Pyrrhonism and the
philosophy of Heraclitus, he recognised also the pre-Socratic
tendency of the Sceptical School. The name of Socrates was all
powerful in the Academy, but Aenesidemus comprehended the fact
that the true spirit of Pyrrhonism was of earlier origin than
the Academic Scepsis.
_Critical Examination of Pyrrhonism_.
The distinct philosophical movement of which Pyrrho was the
author bore his name for five centuries after his death. It had
an acknowledged existence as a philosophical tendency, if indeed
not a sect, for a great part of that time. Yet, when we
carefully analyse the relation of Pyrrhonism, as presented to us
by Sextus, to the teachings of Pyrrho himself, in so far as they
can be known, we find many things in Pyrrhonism for which Pyrrho
was not responsible.
The foundation elements of the movement, the spirit of Empirical
doubt that lay underneath and caused its development in certain
directions rather than others, are due to Pyrrho. The methods of
the school, however, were very foreign to anything found in the
life or teachings of Pyrrho. Pyrrho was eminently a moralist. He
was also to a great degree an ascetic, and he lived his
philosophy, giving it thus a positive side wanting in the
Pyrrhonism presented to us by Sextus. Timon represents him as
desiring to escape from the tedious philosophical discussions of
o geron o Purrhon, pos e pothen ekdusin heures
latreies doxon te kenophrosunes te sophiston;]
and again he speaks of his modest and tranquil life--
touto moi, o Purrhon, himeiretai etor akousai
pos pot' aner et' ageis panta meth' hesuchies
mounos d'anthropoisi theou tropon hegemoneueis
..... pheista meth' hesuchies
aiei aphrontistos kai akinetos kata tauta
me prosech' indalmois hedulogou sophies.]
Pyrrho wished more than anything else to live in peace, and his
dislike of the Sophists may well have made him try to avoid
dialectic; while, on the contrary, in the Pyrrhonean School of
later times discussion was one of the principal methods of
contest, at least after the time of Agrippa. Pyrrhonism seems to
have been originally a theory of life, like the philosophy of
Socrates, to whom Pyrrho is often compared, and Pyrrho, like
Socrates, lived his philosophy. Our knowledge of Pyrrho is
gained from Aristocles, Sextus Empiricus, and Diogenes, and from
the Academic traditions given by Cicero. Diogenes gives us
details of his life which he attributes to Antigonus of
Carystius, who lived about the time of Pyrrho. Pyrrho was a
disciple and admirer of Democritus, some of whose teachings
bore a lasting influence over the subsequent development of
Pyrrhonism. He accompanied Alexander the Great to India, where
he remained as a member of his suite for some time, and the
philosophical ideas of India were not without influence on his
teachings. Oriental philosophy was not unknown in Greece long
before the time of Pyrrho, but his personal contact with the
Magi and the Gymnosophists of the far East, apparently impressed
upon his mind teachings for which he was not unprepared by his
previous study and natural disposition. In his indifference to
worldly goods we find a strong trace of the Buddhistic teaching
regarding the vanity of human life. He showed also a similar
hopelessness in regard to the possibility of finding a
satisfactory philosophy, or absolute truth. He evidently
returned from India with the conviction that truth was not to be
 Diog. IX. 11, 65. Given from Mullach's edition of
Timon by Brochard, _Pyrrhon et le Scepticism primitive_,
 Diog. IX. 11, 69.
 Lewes _Op. cit._ p. 460.
 Diog. IX. 11, 62.
 Diog. IX. 11, 67.
 Compare Maccoll _Op. cit._
After the death of Alexander and Pyrrho's return to Greece, he
lived quietly with his sister at Elis, and Diogenes says that he
was consistent in his life, asserting and denying nothing, but
in everything withholding his opinion, as nothing in itself is
good or shameful, just or unjust. He was not a victim of
false pride, but sold animals in the market place, and, if
necessary, washed the utensils himself. He lived in equality
of spirit, and practised his teachings with serenity. If one
went out while he was talking he paid no attention, but went
calmly on with his remarks. He liked to live alone, and to
travel alone, and on one occasion, being knocked about in a
vessel by a storm at sea, he did not lose his imperturbability,
but pointed to a swine calmly eating on board, and said that the
wise man should have as much calmness of soul as that. He
endured difficult surgical operations with indifference, and
when his friend Anaxarchus was once unfortunate enough to fall
into a morass, he went calmly by without stopping to help him,
for which consistency of conduct Anaxarchus afterwards praised
him. There are two instances given by Diogenes when he lost
control of himself; once in getting angry with his sister, and
once in trying to save himself when chased by a dog. When
accused of inconsistency, he said it was difficult to entirely
give up one's humanity. He was greatly venerated by the
people among whom he lived, who made him high priest, and on his
account exempted all philosophers from taxation, and after
his death erected a statue to his memory. These facts testify to
his moral character, and also to fulfil the functions of high
priest a certain amount of dogmatism must have been necessary.
 Diog. IX. 11, 61, 62.
 Diog. IX. 11, 66.
 Diog. IX. 11, 63.
 Diog. IX. 11, 67.
 Diog. IX. 11, 66.
 Diog. IX. 11, 64.
According to Diogenes, "We cannot know," said Pyrrho, "what
things are in themselves, either by sensation or by judgment,
and, as we cannot distinguish the true from the false, therefore
we should live impassively, and without an opinion." The term
[Greek: epoche], so characteristic of Pyrrhonism, goes back,
according to Diogenes, to the time of Pyrrho. Nothing is, in
itself, one thing more than another, but all experience is
related to phenomena, and no knowledge is possible through the
senses. Pyrrho's aim was [Greek: ataraxia] and his life
furnished a marked example of the spirit of indifference, for
which the expression [Greek: apatheia] is better suited than the
later one, [Greek: ataraxia]. The description of his life with
his sister confirms this, where the term [Greek: adiaphoria] is
used to describe his conduct. He founded his Scepticism on
the equivalence of opposing arguments.
 Diog. IX. 11, 61.
 Diog. IX. 11, 61-62.
 Diog. IX. 11. 66.
 Diog. IX. 11. 106.
The picture given of Pyrrho by Cicero is entirely different from
that of Diogenes, and contrasts decidedly with it. Cicero
knows Pyrrho as a severe moralist, not as a Sceptic. Both
authors attribute to Pyrrho the doctrine of indifference and
apathy, but, according to Cicero, Pyrrho taught of virtue,
honesty, and the _summum bonum_, while Diogenes plainly tells us
that he considered nothing as good in itself, "and of all things
nothing as true." Cicero does not once allude to Pyrrhonean
doubt. We see on the one hand, in Cicero's idea of Pyrrho, the
influence of the Academy, perhaps even of Antiochus himself,
which probably colored the representations given of Pyrrho; but,
on the other hand, there is much in Diogenes' account of
Pyrrho's life and teachings, and in the writings of Timon, which
shows us the positive side of Pyrrho. Pyrrho, in denying the
possibility of all knowledge, made that rather a motive for
indifference in the relations of life, than the foundation
thought of a philosophical system. His teaching has a decided
ethical side, showing in that respect the strong influence of
Democritus over him, who, like Pyrrho, made happiness to consist
in a state of feeling. The one motive of all of Pyrrho's
teaching is a positive one, the desire for happiness.
 _De orat._ III, 62.
 Diog. IX. 11, 61.
 Compare Natorp _Op. cit._ p. 71.
 Zeller _Grundriss der Griechischen Phil._ p. 70.
The essence of Pyrrhonism as given by Timon is as follows:
Man desires to be happy. To realise his desire he must consider
(i) What is the nature of things?
(ii) How should man conduct himself in relation to
(iii) What is the result to him of this relation?
The nature of things is unknown. Our relation to them must be
one of suspension of judgment, without activity, desire, or
belief,--that is, an entirely negative relation. The result is
that state of having no opinion, called [Greek: epoche], which
is followed in turn by [Greek: ataraxia].
 Aristocles _ap. Eusebium Praep. Ev._ XIV. 18.
The problem of philosophy is here proposed very nearly in the
terms of Kant, but not with the positive motive, like that of
the great philosopher of Germany, of evolving a system to
present the truth. Yet the importance of these questions shows
the originality of Pyrrho. The earnestness of Pyrrho is further
shown by an example given by Diogenes. Once on being found
talking to himself alone, he said, when asked the reason, that
he was meditating how to become a good man ([Greek:
chrestos]), thus showing an entirely different spirit from
anything found in Sextus' books. The explanation of his life and
teachings is to be found largely in his own disposition. Such an
attitude of indifference must belong to a placid nature, and
cannot be entirely the result of a philosophical system, and,
while it can be aimed at, it can never be perfectly imitated.
One of his disciples recognised this, and said that it was
necessary to have the disposition of Pyrrho in order to hold his
doctrines. Diogenes tells us that he was the first to advance
any formulae of Scepticism, but they must have been very
elementary, as Pyrrho himself wrote nothing. We find no trace of
formulated Tropes in Pyrrho's teachings, yet it is probable that
he indicated some of the contradictions in sensation, and
possibly the Tropes in some rudimentary form. Of the large
number of sceptical formulae, or [Greek: phonai], the three
which seem to have the oldest connection with Scepticism are the
[Greek: antilogia], the [Greek: ouden horizo], and the [Greek:
ou mallon]. We know from Diogenes that Protagoras is the
authority for saying that in regard to everything there are two
opposing arguments. The saying "to determine nothing" is
quoted from Timon's _Python_ by Diogenes, and the other two
mentioned are also attributed to him by Aristocles. We have
also in the [Greek: ou mallon] a direct connection with
Democritus, although the difference in the meaning which he
attributed to it is shown by Sextus. So while the expression
is the same, the explanation of it given by Pyrrho must have
been different. It would seem probable that Pyrrho used all of
these three sayings, from the account of Diogenes, and that even
then they gave rise to the accusation of the Dogmatics, that
simply by possessing such sayings the Sceptics dogmatised,
for the refutation of this used by Sextus occurs in the old
account of the sayings, namely, that these formulae include also
themselves in the meaning, as a cathartic removes itself
together with other harmful objects.
 Compare Maccoll _Op. cit._ p. 21.
 Diog. IX. 11, 64.
 Diog. IX. 11, 70, 64.
 Diog. IX. 11, 69; IX. 11, 61.
 _Hyp._ I. 202; Diog. IX. 8, 51; _Photius_ Bekker's ed.
 _Photius_ Bekker's ed. 280 H.
 _Hyp._ I. 197; Diog. IX. 11, 76.
 _Aristocles ap. Eusebium, Praep. Ev._ XIV. 18.
 _Hyp._ I. 213.
 Diog. IX. 11, 68-76.
 Diog. IX. 11, 76; _Hyp._ I. 206.
In comparing the later Pyrrhonism with the teachings of Pyrrho,
we would sharply contrast the moral attitude of the two. With
Pyrrho equilibrium of soul was a means to be applied to his
positive theory of life; with the later Pyrrhoneans it was the
end to be attained. We would attribute, however, the empirical
tendency shown during the whole history of Pyrrhonism to Pyrrho
as its originator. He was an empirical philosopher, and the
result of his influence in this respect, as seen in the
subsequent development of the school, stands in marked contrast
to the dialectic spirit of the Academic Scepsis. The empiricism
of the school is shown in its scientific lore, in the fact that
so many of the Sceptics were physicians, and in the character of
the ten Tropes of [Greek: epoche]. We may safely affirm that
the foundation principles of Pyrrhonism are due to Pyrrho, and
the originality which gave the school its power. The elaborated
arguments, however, and the details of its formulae belong to
Coming now to the relation of Pyrrhonism to the Academy, the
connection between the two is difficult to exactly determine,
between the time of Pyrrho and that of Aenesidemus. Scepticism
in the Academy was, however, never absolutely identical with
Pyrrhonism, although at certain periods of the history of the
Academy the difference was slight. We can trace throughout the
evolution of doubt, as shown to us in Pyrrhonism, and in
Academic Scepticism, the different results which followed the
difference in origin of the two movements, and these differences
followed according to general laws of development of thought.
Arcesilaus, who introduced doubt into the Academy, claimed to
return to the dialectic of Socrates, and suppressing the
lectures, which were the method of teaching in the later
schools of philosophy, introduced discussions instead, as being
more decidedly a Socratic method. Although, according to Sextus,
he was the one leader of the Academy whose Scepticism most
nearly approached that of Pyrrhonism, yet underneath his
whole teaching lay that dialectic principle so thoroughly in
opposition to the empiricism of Pyrrho. The belief of Socrates
and Plato in the existence of absolute truth never entirely lost
its influence over the Academy, but was like a hidden germ,
destined to reappear after Scepticism had passed away. It
finally led the Academy back to Dogmatism, and prepared the way
for the Eclecticism with which it disappeared from history.
 Compare Maccoll _Op. cit._ p. 36.
 _Hyp_. I. 232.
The history of Pyrrhonism and that of Academic Scepticism were
for a time contemporaneous. The immediate follower of Pyrrho,
Timon, called by Sextus the "prophet of Pyrrho," was a
contemporary of Arcesilaus. That he did not consider the
Scepticism of the Academy identical with Pyrrhonism is proved
from the fact that he did not himself join the Academy, but was,
on the contrary, far from doing so. That he regarded Arcesilaus
as a Dogmatic is evident from his writings. One day, on
seeing the chief of the Academy approaching, he cried out, "What
are you doing here among us who are free?" After the death of
Timon, the Pyrrhonean School had no representative till the time
of Ptolemy of Cyrene, and Greek Scepticism was represented by
the Academy. That Pyrrho had a strong influence over Arcesilaus,
the founder of the Middle Academy, is evident; but there was
also never a time when the Academy entirely broke away from all
the teachings of Plato, even in their deepest doubt. It is
true that Arcesilaus removed, nominally as well as in spirit,
some of the dialogues of Plato from the Academy, but only those
that bore a dogmatic character, while those that presented a
more decided Socratic mode of questioning without reaching any
decided result, men regarded as authority for Scepticism.
 _Adv. Math._ I. 53.
 Diog. IV. 6, 33, 34.
 Diog. IX. 12, 114.
 Diog. IX. 12, 115.
 Diog. IV. 6, 33.
 Diog. IV. 6, 32.
Sextus does not deny that Arcesilaus was almost a Pyrrhonean,
but he claims that his Pyrrhonism was only apparent, and not
real, and was used as a cloak to hide his loyalty to the
teachings of Plato. As Ariston said of him, "Plato before,
Pyrrho behind, Diodorus in the middle." Sextus also
characterises the method of Arcesilaus as dialectic, and we
know from Cicero that it was his pride to pretend to return to
the dialectic of Socrates.
It is interesting to note that Sextus, in his refutation of the
position that the Academy is the same as Pyrrhonism, takes up
the entire development of Academic thought from the time of
Plato till that of Antiochus, and does not limit the argument to
Scepticism under Arcesilaus. The claim made by some that the two
schools were the same, is stated by him, and the word 'some'
probably refers to members of both schools at different periods
of their history. Sextus recognises three Academies, although he
remarks that some make even a further division, calling that of
Philo and Charmides, the fourth, and that of Antiochus and his
followers, the fifth.
 _Hyp._ I. 234.
 Diog. IV. 6, 33.
 _Hyp._ I. 234.
 _Hyp._ I. 220.
That many in the Academy, and even outside of it, regarded Plato
as a Sceptic, and an authority for subsequent Scepticism, we
find both from Sextus and Diogenes. As Lewes justly remarks,
one could well find authority for Scepticism in the works of
Plato, as indeed the Academicians did, but not when the sum
total of his teachings was considered. The spirit of Plato's
teachings was dogmatic, as Sextus most decidedly recognises, and
as Aenesidemus and Menodotus recognised before him. Sextus
himself shows us that Plato's idealism and ethical teachings can
have nothing in common with Scepticism, for if he accepts the
desirability of the virtuous life, and the existence of
Providence, he dogmatises; and if he even regards them as
probable, he gives preference to one set of ideas over another,
and departs from the sceptical character. Sextus characterises
the sceptical side of Plato's writings as mental gymnastics,
which do not authorise his being called a Sceptic, and affirms
that Plato is not a Sceptic, since he prefers some unknown
things to others in trustworthiness. The ethical difference
underlying the teachings of the Academy and Pyrrhonism, Sextus
was very quick to see, and although it is very probable that the
part of the _Hypotyposes_ which defines the difference between
the Academy and Pyrrhonism may be largely quoted from the
introduction to Aenesidemus' works, yet Sextus certainly gives
these statements the strong stamp of his approval. He condemns
the Academy because of the theory that good and evil exist, or
if this cannot be decidedly proved, yet that it is more probable
that what is called good exists than the contrary.
 _Hyp._ I. 221; Diog. IX. 11, 72.
 Bekker's edition of _Hyp._ I. 222.
 _Hyp._ I. 222.
 _Hyp._ I. 223.
 _Hyp_. I. 226.
The whole Academic teaching of probabilities contradicted the
standpoint of the Sceptics--that our ideas are equal as regards
trustworthiness and untrustworthiness, for the Academicians
declared that some ideas are probable and some improbable, and
they make a difference even in those ideas that they call
Sextus claims that there are three fundamental grounds of
difference between Pyrrhonism and the Academy. The first is the
doctrine of probability which the Academicians accept in regard
to the superior trustworthiness of some ideas over others.
The second is the different way in which the two schools follow
their teachers. The Pyrrhoneans follow without striving or
strong effort, or even strong inclination, as a child follows
his teacher, while the Academicians follow with sympathy and
assent, as Carneades and Clitomachus affirm. The third
difference is in the aim, for the Academicians follow what is
probable in life. The Sceptics follow nothing, but live
according to laws, customs, and natural feelings
The difference between the later teaching of the Academy and
Pyrrhonism is evident, and Sextus treats of it briefly, as not
requiring discussion, as Philo taught that the nature of
facts is incomprehensible, and Antiochus transferred the Stoa to
the Academy. It is therefore evident, from the comparison which
we have made, that we do not find in the Academy, with which
Scepticism after the death of Timon was so long united, the
exact continuance of Pyrrhonism. The philosophical enmity of the
two contemporaries, Timon and Arcesilaus, the Academician who
had most in common with Pyrrhonism, is an expression of the
fundamental incompatibility between the two schools.
 _Hyp_. I. 227.
 _Hyp_. I. 229.
 _Hyp_. I. 230.
 _Hyp_. I. 231.
 _Hyp_. I. 235.
During all the chequered history of the Academy the dormant
idealism was there, underlying the outward development. Although
during the time of Arcesilaus and Carneades the difference was
so slight as to seem a mere matter of form of expression, yet
the different foundations on which the two schools stood was
always recognisable. On the one hand there was the germ of
idealism which was destined to awake to a new life, and on the
other, the attempt at absolute negation which was to result in
the final extinction of Pyrrhonism. We find in both, it is true,
especially in the time of Arcesilaus, the aim of [Greek:
epoche]. Both placed great weight on [Greek: isostheneia], or
the equal value of opposing arguments. The foundation of the
[Greek: epoche] was, however, different in the two cases.
Arcesilaus founded his on dialectic, while Pyrrho's was
 _Hyp._ I. 232.
 Diog. IX. 73; _Hyp._ II. 130; III. 65.
The Pyrrhonean believed that ideas give us no knowledge of the
outer world; the Academic Sceptic believed that we cannot
distinguish between true and false ideas, so such knowledge is
impossible. The Pyrrhonean denied that truth could exist in
ideas because of their contradictory nature, and consequently
the existence of all truth, [Greek: meden einai te aletheia epi
panton]. The Academic Sceptic granted that the truth was
possibly contained in ideas, but affirmed that it could never be
known to us. The Pyrrhoneans prided themselves on still being
seekers, for although ordinary ideas are too contradictory to
give knowledge of the outer world, they did not deny that such
knowledge might be possible, but simply suspended the judgment
regarding it. To the Pyrrhonean the result corresponded to the
method. All ideas thus far known revealed nothing of the truth,
therefore he still sought. The Academician tried logically to
prove that the truth is impossible to find. It is the relation
of the dialectician to the empiricist, and the two varieties of
Scepticism are explained by their difference in origin. In
Pyrrhonism there was no constructive element. In the Academic
Scepsis such an element was found throughout all its history in
the theory of Probability. Arcesilaus himself laid great stress
upon this doctrine, which Sextus carefully shows us is
utterly inconsistent with Pyrrhonism. Arcesilaus plainly teaches
that, having suspended one's judgment in regard to matters of
knowledge, one should control his choices, his refusals, and his
actions by the probable.
 Diog. IX. 11, 61.
 _Hyp._ I. 229.
 Compare Maccoll _Op. cit._ 39.
After Antiochus introduced Eclecticism into the Academy,
Pyrrhonism was the only representative of Greek Scepticism, and
it flourished for over two centuries after our era, and then
also disappeared, no more to exist as a regular philosophical
Having considered at length the essence of Pyrrhonism as
presented by Sextus Empiricus, it now remains to briefly note
the characteristics that formed its strength and weakness, and
the causes of its final downfall. Herbart says that every
philosopher is a Sceptic in the beginning, but every Sceptic
remains always in the beginning. This remark may well be applied
to Pyrrhonism. We find in its teachings many fundamental
philosophical truths which might have formed the beginning of
great philosophical progress, but which were never developed to
any positive results. The teachings of Pyrrhonism were some of
them well fitted to prepare the way to idealism. The great idea
of the relativity of _Vorstellungen_ is made very prominent by
the ten Tropes of [Greek: epoche]. Aenesidemus, in his eight
Tropes against aetiology, shows the absurdity of the doctrine of
causality when upheld on materialistic grounds. That was to him
final, [Greek: epei ouk estai aition.] He could not divine that
although the result which he presented was logical, it only led
to a higher truth. It was reserved for the greatest of modern
philosophers to reveal to the world that causality is a
condition, and a necessary condition, of thought. When
Aenesidemus proved by his seventh Trope that causality is
subjective, he regarded it as fatal to the doctrine; yet this
conclusion was a marked step in advance in critical philosophy,
although Aenesidemus could not himself see it in all its
bearings. The great difference between Aenesidemus and Kant is
the difference between the materialist and the believer in
subjective reality. Both agreed in the unknown nature of the
_Ding an sich_, but this was to the Pyrrhonist the end of all
his philosophy; to Kant, however, the beginning.
Pyrrhonism has rendered, notwithstanding its points of fatal
weakness, marked service to the world in science, philosophy,
ethics, and religion. It quickened scientific thought by
emphasising empirical methods of investigation, and by
criticising all results founded without sufficient data upon
false hypotheses. If, instead of denying the possibility of all
science because of the want of a criterion of the truth of
phenomena, the Pyrrhonists had comprehended the possibility of a
science of phenomena, they might have led the world in
scientific progress. Their service to philosophy lay in the
stimulus to thought that their frequent attacks on dogmatic
beliefs occasioned. Pyrrhonism brought together all the most
prominent theories of the old schools of philosophy to test
their weakness and expose their contradictions, and this very
process of criticism often demonstrated the power of the truth
which they contained.
Sextus Empiricus was often charged by the Church Fathers with
corrupting religious belief, and yet the greatest service which
Pyrrhonism has rendered the world was in religious and ethical
lines. This service did not, naturally, consist in destroying
belief in absolute truth, as the Sceptic professed to do, but in
preparing the way to find it. The bold attacks of Scepticism on
all truth led men to investigate ethical and religious
teachings, to examine the grounds of their belief, and to put in
practical use the right of reason and free discussion.
Scepticism was the antecedent of freedom of conscience and
rational criticism, and the absolute right of scientific
thought. The Sceptics, however, reaped none of the benefits of
their own system. They remained, as it were, always on the
threshold of possible progress. With the keys to great
discoveries in their hands, the doors of philosophical and
scientific advancement were for ever closed to them by the
limitations of their own system. The inherent weakness of
Pyrrhonism lay in its psychological inconsistency and in its
negative character. I think that we may safely say that
Pyrrhonism was the most consistent system of Scepticism ever
offered to the world, and yet it proves most decidedly that
complete Scepticism is psychologically impossible. A man may
give up his belief in one set of ideas, and, if they are ideas
that are popularly accepted, he will be called a Sceptic, as was
the case with Hume. He must, however, replace these ideas by
others equally positive, and then he is no longer a Sceptic, but
a Dogmatic, for he believes in something.
 Compare Lewes _Op. cit._ p. 463.
 Compare Chaignet _Op. cit._ p. 460.
We have shown that the greatest thinkers of Pyrrhonism, Pyrrho,
Aenesidemus, and Agrippa, were not examples of absolute
Scepticism, and although Sextus Empiricus realised what
consistency demanded in this respect, and affirmed on almost
every page that he was asserting nothing, yet there is not a
paragraph of his books in which he does not, after all,
dogmatise on some subject. Complete Scepticism is contrary to
the fundamental laws of language, as all use of verbs involves
some affirmation. The Pyrrhonists realised this, and therefore
some of them wrote nothing, like Pyrrho, their leader, and
others advocated [Greek: aphasia] as one of the doctrines of
 _Hyp._ I. 192.
The very aim of Pyrrhonism was an inconsistent one. [Greek:
Ataraxia] was only another name for happiness, and in one
instance, even, is given as [Greek: hedone], and thus, in spite
of themselves, the Sceptics introduced a theory of happiness.
Pyrrho, like others of his time, sought the highest good, and
thought that he had found it in [Greek: ataraxia], the peace of
mind that appears in other systems of philosophy in other forms.
The difference of aim between the Pyrrhonists, Stoics, and
Epicureans was more apparent than real. To them all philosophy
was a path to lead to happiness. The method of Pyrrhonism was,
however, negative. Its strength consisted in its attacks on
Dogmatism, and not in any positive aim of its own, for its
positive side could not be recognised according to its own
doctrines. Therefore there was no real development in
Pyrrhonism, for a negative thought cannot be developed.
We find, accordingly, from the time of Pyrrho to Sextus, no
growth in breadth of philosophical outlook, only improvement in
methods. Philosophical activity can never have doubt as its aim,
as that would form, as we have shown, a psychological
contradiction. The true essence of Pyrrhonism was passivity, but
passivity can never lead to progress. Much of the polemical work
of Pyrrhonism prepared the way for scientific progress by
providing a vast store of scientific data, but progress was to
the Pyrrhonists impossible. They sounded their own scientific
death-knell by declaring the impossibility of science, and
putting an end to all theories.
The life of all scientific and philosophic progress is in the
attempt to find the hidden truth. To the Sceptic there was no
truth, and there could be no progress. As progress is a law in
the evolution of the human race, so Scepticism as a philosophy
could never be a permanent growth, any more than asceticism in
religion can be a lasting influence. Both of them are only
outgrowths. As the foundation principles of Scepticism were
opposed to anything like real growth, it was a system that could
never originate anything. Pyrrho taught from the beginning that
the Sceptic must live according to law and custom; not, however,
because one law or custom is better than another in itself, but
simply for the sake of peace. This basis of action was itself a
death-blow to all reform in social or political life. It was a
selfish, negative way of seeking what was, after all, a positive
thing, the [Greek: ataraxia] that the Sceptic desired. Life with
the Pyrrhonist was phenomenal, and not phenomenal simply in
regard to the outer world, but also subjectively, and no
absolute knowledge of the subjective life or of personal
existence was possible.
The cause of the downfall of Pyrrhonism lay in the fact that it
had nothing to offer to humanity in the place of what it had
destroyed. It made no appeal to human sympathies, and ignored
all the highest motives to human action. The especial
materialistic standpoint from which Pyrrhonism judged all that
pertains to knowledge and life shut out the ideal, and all
possibility of absolute truth. It was an expression of the
philosophic decadence of the age when it flourished, and
although it possessed some philosophic worth, yet it bore in
itself the causes of its decay.
_The Principal Differences between Philosophers._
It is probable that those who seek after anything whatever, will 1
either find it as they continue the search, will deny that it
can be found and confess it to be out of reach, or will go on
seeking it. Some have said, accordingly, in regard to the things
sought in philosophy, that they have found the truth, while 2
others have declared it impossible to find, and still others
continue to seek it. Those who think that they have found it are
those who are especially called Dogmatics, as for example, the
Schools of Aristotle and Epicurus, the Stoics and some others.
Those who have declared it impossible to find are Clitomachus, 3
Carneades, with their respective followers, and other
Academicians. Those who still seek it are the Sceptics. It
appears therefore, reasonable to conclude that the three 4
principal kinds of philosophy are the Dogmatic, the Academic,
and the Sceptic. Others may suitably treat of the other Schools,
but as for the Sceptical School, we shall now give an outline of
it, remarking in advance that in respect to nothing that will be
said do we speak positively, that it must be absolutely so, but
we shall state each thing historically as it now appears to us.
_Ways of Treating Scepticism._
One way of treating the Sceptical philosophy is called 5
general, and the other special. The general method is that by
which we set forth the character of Scepticism, declaring what
its idea is, what its principles are, its mode of reasoning, its
criterion, and its aim. It presents also, the aspects of doubt,
[Greek: hoi tropoi tes epoches], and the way in which we should
understand the Sceptical formulae, and the distinction between
Scepticism and the related Schools of philosophy. The special
method, on the contrary, is that by which we 6 speak against 6
each part of so-called philosophy. Let us then treat Scepticism
at first in the general way, beginning our delineation with the
nomenclature of the Sceptical School.
_The Nomenclature of Scepticism._
The Sceptical School is also called the "Seeking School," from 7
its spirit of research and examination; the "Suspending School,"
from the condition of mind in which one is left after the
search, in regard to the things that he has examined; and the
"Doubting School," either because, as some say, the Sceptics
doubt and are seeking in regard to everything, or because they
never know whether to deny or affirm. It is also called the
Pyrrhonean School, because Pyrrho appears to us the best
representative of Scepticism, and is more prominent than all who
before him occupied themselves with it.
_What is Scepticism?_
The [Greek: dynamis] of the Sceptical School is to place the 8
phenomenal in opposition to the intellectual "in any way
whatever," and thus through the equilibrium of the reasons and
things ([Greek: isostheneia ton logon]) opposed to each other,
to reach, first the state of suspension of judgment, [Greek:
epoche] and afterwards that of imperturbability, [Greek:
ataraxia]. We do not use the word [Greek: dynamis] in any 9
unusual sense, but simply, meaning the force of the system. By
the phenomenal, we understand the sensible, hence we place the
intellectual in opposition to it. The phrase "in any way
whatever," may refer to the word [Greek: dynamis] in order that
we may understand that word in a simple sense as we said, or it
may refer to the placing the phenomenal and intellectual in
opposition. For we place these in opposition to each other in a
variety of ways, the phenomenal to the phenomenal, and the
intellectual to the intellectual, or reciprocally, and we say
"in any way whatever," in order that all methods of opposition
may be included. Or "in any way whatever" may refer to the
phenomenal and the intellectual, so that we need not ask how
does the phenomenal appear, or how are the thoughts conceived,
but that we may understand these things in a simple sense. By
"reasons opposed to each other," we do not by any means 10
understand that they deny or affirm anything, but simply that
they offset each other. By equilibrium, we mean equality in
regard to trustworthiness and untrustworthiness, so that of the
reasons that are placed in opposition to each other, one should
not excel another in trustworthiness. [Greek: epoche] is a
holding back of the opinion, in consequence of which we neither
deny nor affirm anything. [Greek: ataraxia] is repose and
tranquillity of soul. We shall explain how [Greek: ataraxia]
accompanies [Greek: epoche] when we speak of the aim.
What is meant by a Pyrrhonean philosopher can be understood from 11
the idea of the Sceptical School. He is a Pyrrhonean, namely,
who identifies himself with this system.
_The Origin of Scepticism._
Scepticism arose in the beginning from the hope of attaining 12
[Greek: ataraxia]; for men of the greatest talent were perplexed
by the contradiction of things, and being at a loss what to
believe, began to question what things are true, and what false,
hoping to attain [Greek: ataraxia] as a result of the decision.
The fundamental principle of the Sceptical system is especially
this, namely, to oppose every argument by one of equal weight,
for it seems to us that in this way we finally reach the
position where we have no dogmas.
_Does the Sceptic Dogmatise?_
We say that the Sceptic does not dogmatise. We do not say 13
this, meaning by the word dogma the popular assent to certain
things rather than others (for the Sceptic does assent to
feelings that are a necessary result of sensation, as for
example, when he is warm or cold, he cannot say that he thinks
he is not warm or cold), but we say this, meaning by dogma the
acceptance of any opinion in regard to the unknown things
investigated by science. For the Pyrrhonean assents to nothing
that is unknown. Furthermore, he does not dogmatise even when 14
he utters the Sceptical formulae in regard to things that are
unknown, such as "Nothing more," or "I decide nothing," or any
of the others about which we shall speak later. For the one who
dogmatises regards the thing about which he is said to
dogmatise, as existing in itself; the Sceptic does not however
regard these formulae as having an absolute existence, for he
assumes that the saying "All is false," includes itself with
other things as false, and likewise the saying "Nothing is
true"; in the same way "Nothing more," states that together with
other things it itself is nothing more, and cancels itself
therefore, as well as other things. We say the same also in
regard to the other Sceptical expressions. In short, if he who 15
dogmatises, assumes as existing in itself that about which he
dogmatises, the Sceptic, on the contrary, expresses his sayings
in such a way that they are understood to be themselves
included, and it cannot be said that he dogmatises in saying
these things. The principal thing in uttering these formulae is
that he says what appears to him, and communicates his own
feelings in an unprejudiced way, without asserting anything in
regard to external objects.
_Is Scepticism a Sect?_
We respond in a similar way if we are asked whether 16
Scepticism is a sect or not. If the word sect is defined as
meaning a body of persons who hold dogmas which are in
conformity with each other, and also with phenomena, and dogma
means an assent to anything that is unknown, then we reply that
we have no sect. If, however, one means by sect, a school 17
which follows a certain line of reasoning based on phenomena,
and that reasoning shows how it is possible to apparently live
rightly, not understanding "rightly" as referring to virtue
only, but in a broader sense; if, also, it leads one to be able
to suspend the judgment, then we reply that we have a sect. For
we follow a certain kind of reasoning which is based upon
phenomena, and which shows us how to live according to the
habits, laws, and teachings of the fatherland, and our own
_Does the Sceptic Study Natural Science?_
We reply similarly also to the question whether the Sceptic 18
should study natural science. For we do not study natural
science in order to express ourselves with confidence regarding
any of the dogmas that it teaches, but we take it up in order to
be able to meet every argument by one of equal weight, and also
for the sake of [Greek: ataraxia]. In the same way we study the
logical and ethical part of so-called philosophy.
_Do the Sceptics deny Phenomena?_
Those who say that the Sceptics deny phenomena appear to me to 19
be in ignorance of our teachings. For as we said before, we do
not deny the sensations which we think we have, and which lead
us to assent involuntarily to them, and these are the phenomena.
When, however, we ask whether the object is such as it appears
to be, while we concede that it appears so and so, we question,
not the phenomenon, but in regard to that which is asserted of
the phenomenon, and that is different from doubting the
phenomenon itself. For example, it appears to us that honey is
sweet. This we concede, for we experience sweetness through 20
sensation. We doubt, however, whether it is sweet by reason of
its essence, which is not a question of the phenomenon, but of
that which is asserted of the phenomenon. Should we, however,
argue directly against the phenomena, it is not with the
intention of denying their existence, but to show the rashness
of the Dogmatics. For if reasoning is such a deceiver that it
well nigh snatches away the phenomena from before your eyes, how
should we not distrust it in regard to things that are unknown,
so as not to rashly follow it?
_The Criterion of Scepticism._
It is evident that we pay careful attention to phenomena from 21
what we say about the criterion of the Sceptical School. The
word criterion is used in two ways. First, it is understood as a
proof of existence or non-existence, in regard to which we shall
speak in the opposing argument. Secondly, when it refers to
action, meaning the criterion to which we give heed in life, in
doing some things and refraining from doing others, and it is
about this that we shall now speak. We say, consequently, that
the criterion of the Sceptical School is the phenomenon, and in
calling it so, we mean the idea of it. It cannot be doubted, 22
as it is based upon susceptibility and involuntary feeling.
Hence no one doubts, perhaps, that an object appears so and so,
but one questions if it is as it appears. Therefore, as we
cannot be entirely inactive as regards the observances of daily
life, we live by giving heed to phenomena, and in an
unprejudiced way. But this observance of what pertains to the 23
daily life, appears to be of four different kinds. Sometimes it
is directed by the guidance of nature, sometimes by the
necessity of the feelings, sometimes by the tradition of laws
and of customs, and sometimes by the teaching of the arts. It is
directed by the guidance of nature, for by nature we are 24
capable of sensation and thought; by the necessity of the
feelings, for hunger leads us to food, and thirst to drink; by
the traditions of laws and customs, for according to them we
consider piety a good in daily life, and impiety an evil; by the
teaching of the arts, for we are not inactive in the arts we
undertake. We say all these things, however, without expressing
a decided opinion.
_What is the aim of Scepticism?_
It follows naturally in order to treat of the aim of the 25
Sceptical School. An aim is that for which as an end all things
are done or thought, itself depending on nothing, or in other
words, it is the ultimatum of things to be desired. We say,
then, that the aim of the Sceptic is [Greek: ataraxia] in those
things which pertain to the opinion, and moderation in the
things that life imposes. For as soon as he began to 26
philosophise he wished to discriminate between ideas, and to
understand which are true and which are false, in order to
attain [Greek: ataraxia]. He met, however, with contradictions
of equal weight, and, being unable to judge, he withheld his
opinion; and while his judgment was in suspension [Greek:
ataraxia] followed, as if by chance, in regard to matters of
opinion. For he who is of the opinion that anything is either 27
good or bad by nature is always troubled, and when he does not
possess those things that seem to him good he thinks that he is
tortured by the things which are by nature bad, and pursues
those that he thinks to be good. Having acquired them, however,
he falls into greater perturbation, because he is excited beyond
reason and without measure from fear of a change, and he does
everything in his power to retain the things that seem to him
good. But he who is undecided, on the contrary, regarding 28
things that are good and bad by nature, neither seeks nor avoids
anything eagerly, and is therefore in a state of [Greek:
ataraxia]. For that which is related of Apelles the painter
happened to the Sceptic. It is said that as he was once painting
a horse he wished to represent the foam of his mouth in the
picture, but he could not succeed in doing so, and he gave it up
and threw the sponge at the picture with which he had wiped the
colors from the painting. As soon, however, as it touched the
picture it produced a good copy of the foam. The Sceptics
likewise hoped to gain [Greek: ataraxia] by forming judgments 29
in regard to the anomaly between phenomena and the things of
thought, but they were unable to do this, and so they suspended
their judgment; and while their judgment was in suspension
[Greek: ataraxia] followed, as if by chance, as the shadow
follows a body. Nevertheless, we do not consider the Sceptic
wholly undisturbed, but he is disturbed by some things that are
inevitable. We confess that sometimes he is cold and thirsty,
and that he suffers in such ways. But in these things even the
ignorant are beset in two ways, from the feelings themselves, 30
and not less also from the fact that they think these conditions
are bad by nature. The Sceptic, however, escapes more easily, as
he rejects the opinion that anything is in itself bad by nature.
Therefore we say that the aim of the Sceptic is [Greek:
ataraxia] in matters of opinion, and moderation of feeling in
those things that are inevitable. Some notable Sceptics have
added also suspension of judgment in investigation.
_The General Method of Scepticism._
Since we have said that [Greek: ataraxia] follows the suspension 31
of judgment in regard to everything, it behooves us to
explain how the suspension of judgment takes place. Speaking in
general it takes place through placing things in opposition to
each other. We either place phenomena in opposition to
phenomena, or the intellectual in opposition to the
intellectual, or reciprocally. For example, we place 32
phenomena in opposition to phenomena when we say that this tower
appears round from a distance but square near by; the
intellectual in opposition to the intellectual, when to the one
who from the order of the heavens builds a tower of reasoning to
prove that a providence exists, we oppose the fact that
adversity often falls to the good and prosperity to the evil,
and that therefore we draw the conclusion that there is no
providence. The intellectual is placed in opposition to 33
phenomena, as when Anaxagoras opposed the fact that snow is
white, by saying that snow is frozen water, and, as water is
black, snow must also be black. Likewise we sometimes place the
present in opposition to the present, similarly to the
above-mentioned cases, and sometimes also the present in
opposition to the past or the future. As for example, when
someone proposes an argument to us that we cannot refute, we say
to him, "Before the founder of the sect to which you belong 34
was born, the argument which you propose in accordance with it
had not appeared as a valid argument, but was dormant in nature,
so in the same way it is possible that its refutation also
exists in nature, but has not yet appeared to us, so that it is
not at all necessary for us to agree with an argument that now
seems to be strong." In order to make it clearer to us what 35
we mean by these oppositions, I will proceed to give the Tropes
([Greek: tropoi]), through which the suspension of judgment is
produced, without asserting anything about their meaning or
their number, because they may be unsound, or there may be more
than I shall enumerate.
_The Ten Tropes._
Certain Tropes were commonly handed down by the older Sceptics, 36
by means of which [Greek: epoche] seems to take place.
They are ten in number, and are called synonymously [Greek:
logoi] and [Greek: tropoi]. They are these: The first is based
upon the differences in animals; the second upon the differences
in men; the third upon the difference in the constitution of the
organs of sense; the fourth upon circumstances; the fifth upon
position, distance, and place; the sixth upon mixtures; the
seventh upon the quantity and constitution of objects; the
eighth upon relation; the ninth upon frequency or rarity of 37
occurences; the tenth upon systems, customs, laws, mythical
beliefs, and dogmatic opinions. We make this order ourselves. 38
These Tropes come under three general heads: the standpoint
of the judge, the standpoint of the thing judged, and the
standpoint of both together. Under the standpoint of the judge
come the first four, for the judge is either an animal, or a
man, or a sense, and exists under certain circumstances. Under
the standpoint of that which is judged, come the seventh and the
tenth. Under the one composed of both together, come the fifth
and the sixth, the eighth and the ninth. Again, these three
divisions are included under the Trope of relation, because 39
that is the most general one; it includes the three special
divisions, and these in turn include the ten. We say these
things in regard to their probable number, and we proceed in the
following chapter to speak of their meaning.
THE FIRST TROPE.
The first Trope, we said, is the one based upon the 40
differences in animals, and according to this Trope, different
animals do not get the same ideas of the same objects through
the senses. This we conclude from the different origin of the
animals, and also from the difference in the constitution of
their bodies. In regard to the difference in origin, some
animals originate without mixture of the sexes, while others
originate through sexual intercourse. Of those which 41
originate without intercourse of the sexes, some come from fire,
as the little animals which appear in the chimneys, others from
stagnant water, as musquitoes, others from fermented wine, as
the stinging ants, others from the earth, others from the mud,
like the frogs, others from slime, as the worms, others from
donkeys, as the beetles, others from cabbage, as caterpillars,
others from fruit, as the gall insect from the wild figs, others
from putrified animals, as bees from bulls, and wasps from
horses. Again, of those originating from intercourse of the 42
sexes, some come from animals of the same kind, as in most
cases, and others from those of different kinds, as mules.
Again, of animals in general, some are born alive, as men,
others from eggs, as birds, and others are born a lump of flesh,
as bears. It is probable therefore, that the inequalities and 43
differences in origin cause great antipathies in the animals,
and the result is incompatibility, discord, and conflict between
the sensations of the different animals. Again, the differences
in the principal parts of the body, especially in those 44
fitted by nature to judge and to perceive, may cause the
greatest differences in their ideas of objects, according to the
differences in the animals themselves. As for example, those who
have the jaundice call that yellow which appears to us white,
and those who have bloodshot eyes call it blood-red.
Accordingly, as some animals have yellow eyes, and others
blood-shot ones, and still others whitish ones, and others eyes
of other colors, it is probable, I think, that they have a
different perception of colors. Furthermore, when we look
steadily at the sun for a long time, and then look down at a 45
book, the letters seem to us gold colored, and dance around. Now
some animals have by nature a lustre in their eyes, and these
emit a fine and sparkling light so that they see at night, and
we may reasonably suppose that external things do not appear the
same to them as to us. Jugglers by lightly rubbing the wick 46
of the lamp with metal rust, or with the dark yellow fluid of
the sepia, make those who are present appear now copper-colored
and now black, according to the amount of the mixture used; if
this be so it is much more reasonable to suppose that because of
the mixture of different fluids in the eyes of animals, their
ideas of objects would be different. Furthermore, when we 47
press the eye on the side, the figures, forms and sizes of
things seen appear elongated and narrow. It is therefore
probable that such animals as have the pupil oblique and long,
as goats, cats, and similar animals, have ideas different from
those of the animals which have a round pupil. Mirrors according
to their different construction, sometimes show the external 48
object smaller than reality, as concave ones, and sometimes long
and narrow, as the convex ones do; others show the head of the
one looking into it down, and the feet up. As some of the
vessels around the eye fall entirely outside the eye, on 49
account of their protuberance, while others are more sunken, and
still others are placed in an even surface, it is probable that
for this reason also the ideas vary, and dogs, fishes, lions,
men, and grasshoppers do not see the same things, either of the
same size, or of similar form, but according to the impression
on the organ of sight of each animal respectively. The same
thing is true in regard to the other senses; for how can it 50
be said that shell-fish, birds of prey, animals covered with
spines, those with feathers and those with scales would be
affected in the same way by the sense of touch? and how can the
sense of hearing perceive alike in animals which have the
narrowest auditory passages, and in those that are furnished
with the widest, or in those with hairy ears and those with
smooth ones? For we, even, hear differently when we partially
stop up the ears, from what we do when we use them naturally.
The sense of smell also varies according to differences in 51
animals, since even our sense of smell is affected when we have
taken cold and the phlegm is too abundant, and also when parts
around our head are flooded with too much blood, for we then
avoid odors that seem agreeable to others, and feel as if we
were injured by them. Since also some of the animals are moist
by nature and full of secretions, and others are very full of
blood, and still others have either yellow or black bile
prevalent and abundant, it is reasonable because of this to
think that odorous things appear different to each one of them.
And it is the same in regard to things of taste, as some 52
animals have the tongue rough and dry and others very moist. We
too, when we have a dry tongue in fever, think that whatever we
take is gritty, bad tasting, or bitter; and this we experience
because of the varying degrees of the humors that are said to be
in us. Since, then, different animals have different organs for
taste, and a greater or less amount of the various humors, it
can well be that they form different ideas of the same objects
as regards their taste. For just as the same food on being 53
absorbed becomes in some places veins, in other places arteries,
and in other places bones, nerves, or other tissues, showing
different power according to the difference of the parts
receiving it; just as the same water absorbed by the trees
becomes in some places bark, in other places branches, and in
other places fruit, perhaps a fig or a pomegranate, or something
else; just as the breath of the musician, one and the same 54
when blown into the flute, becomes sometimes a high tone and
sometimes a low one, and the same pressure of the hand upon the
lyre sometimes causes a deep tone and sometimes a high tone, so
it is natural to suppose that external objects are regarded
differently according to the different constitution of the
animals which perceive them. We may see this more clearly in 55
the things that are sought for and avoided by animals. For
example, myrrh appears very agreeable to men and intolerable to
beetles and bees. Oil also, which is useful to men, destroys
wasps and bees if sprinkled on them; and sea-water, while it is
unpleasant and poisonous to men if they drink it, is most
agreeable and sweet to fishes. Swine also prefer to wash in vile
filth rather than in pure clean water. Furthermore, some 56
animals eat grass and some eat herbs; some live in the woods,
others eat seeds; some are carnivorous, and others lactivorous;
some enjoy putrified food, and others fresh food; some raw food
and others that which is prepared by cooking; and in general
that which is agreeable to some is disagreeable and fatal to
others, and should be avoided by them. Thus hemlock makes the 57
quail fat, and henbane the hogs, and these, as it is known,
enjoy eating lizards; deer also eat poisonous animals, and
swallows, the cantharidae. Moreover, ants and flying ants, when
swallowed by men, cause discomfort and colic; but the bear, on
the contrary, whatever sickness he may have, becomes stronger by
devouring them. The viper is benumbed if one twig of the oak 58
touches it, as is also the bat by a leaf of the plane-tree. The
elephant flees before the ram, and the lion before the cock, and
seals from the rattling of beans that are being pounded, and the
tiger from the sound of the drum. Many other examples could be
given, but that we may not seem to dwell longer than is
necessary on this subject, we conclude by saying that since the
same things are pleasant to some and unpleasant to others, and
the pleasure and displeasure depend on the ideas, it must be
that different animals have different ideas of objects. And
since the same things appear different according to the 59
difference in the animals, it will be possible for us to say how
the external object appears to us, but as to how it is in
reality we shall suspend our judgment. For we cannot ourselves
judge between our own ideas and those of other animals, being
ourselves involved in the difference, and therefore much more in
need of being judged than being ourselves able to judge. And
furthermore, we cannot give the preference to our own mental 60
representations over those of other animals, either without
evidence or with evidence, for besides the fact that perhaps
there is no evidence, as we shall show, the evidence so called
will be either manifest to us or not. If it is not manifest to
us, then we cannot accept it with conviction; if it is manifest
to us, since the question is in regard to what is manifest to
animals, and we use as evidence that which is manifest to us who
are animals, then it is to be questioned if it is true as it is
manifest to us. It is absurd, however, to try to base the 61
questionable on the questionable, because the same thing is to
be believed and not to be believed, which is certainly
impossible. The evidence is to be believed in so far as it will
furnish a proof, and disbelieved in so far as it is itself to be
proved. We shall therefore have no evidence according to which
we can give preference to our own ideas over those of so-called
irrational animals. Since therefore ideas differ according to
the difference in animals, and it is impossible to judge them,
it is necessary to suspend the judgment in regard to external
_Have the So-called Irrational Animals Reason_?
We continue the comparison of the so-called irrational animals 62
with man, although it is needless to do so, for in truth we do
not refuse to hold up to ridicule the conceited and bragging
Dogmatics, after having given the practical arguments. Now most 63
of our number were accustomed to compare all the irrational
animals together with man, but because the Dogmatics playing
upon words say that the comparison is unequal, we carry our
ridicule farther, although it is most superfluous to do so, and
fix the discussion on one animal, as the dog, if it suits you,
which seems to be the most contemptible animal; for we shall
even then find that animals, about which we are speaking, are
not inferior to us in respect to the trustworthiness of their
perceptions. Now the Dogmatics grant that this animal is 64
superior to us in sense perception, for he perceives better
through smell than we, as by this sense he tracks wild animals
that he cannot see, and he sees them quicker with his eyes than
we do, and he perceives them more acutely by hearing. Let us
also consider reasoning, which is of two kinds, reasoning in 65
thought and in speech. Let us look first to that of thought.
This kind of reasoning, judging from the teachings of those
Dogmatics who are now our greatest opponents, those of the Stoa,
seems to fluctuate between the following things: the choice of
the familiar, and avoidance of the alien; the knowledge of the
arts that lead to this choice; and the comprehension of those
virtues that belong to the individual nature, as regards the
feelings. The dog then, upon whom it was decided to fix the
argument as an example, makes a choice of things suitable to 66
him, and avoids those that are harmful, for he hunts for food,
but draws back when the whip is lifted up; he possesses also an
art by which he procures the things that are suitable for him,
the art of hunting. He is not also without virtue; since the 67
true nature of justice is to give to every one according to his
merit, as the dog wags his tail to those who belong to the
family, and to those who behave well to him, guards them, and
keeps off strangers and evil doers, he is surely not without
justice. Now if he has this virtue, since the virtues follow 68
each other in turn, he has the other virtues also, which the
wise men say, most men do not possess. We see the dog also brave
in warding off attacks, and sagacious, as Homer testified when
he represented Odysseus as unrecognised by all in his house, and
recognised only by Argos, because the dog was not deceived by
the physical change in the man, and had not lost the [Greek:
phantasia kataleptike] which he proved that he had kept better
than the men had. But according to Chrysippus even, who most 69
attacked the irrational animals, the dog takes a part in the
dialectic about which so much is said. At any rate, the man
above referred to said that the dog follows the fifth of the
several non-apodictic syllogisms, for when he comes to a meeting
of three roads, after seeking the scent in the two roads,
through which his prey has not passed, he presses forward
quickly in the third without scenting it. For the dog reasons in
this way, potentially said the man of olden time; the animal
passed through this, or this, or this; it was neither through
this nor this, therefore it was through this. The dog also
understands his own sufferings and mitigates them. As soon as 70
a sharp stick is thrust into him, he sets out to remove it, by
rubbing his foot on the ground, as also with his teeth; and if
ever he has a wound anywhere, for the reason that uncleansed
wounds are difficult to cure, and those that are cleansed are
easily cured, he gently wipes off the collected matter; and 71
he observes the Hippocratic advice exceedingly well, for since
quiet is a relief for the foot, if he has ever a wound in the
foot, he lifts it up, and keeps it undisturbed as much as
possible. When he is troubled by disturbing humours, he eats
grass, with which he vomits up that which was unfitting, and
recovers. Since therefore it has been shown that the animal 72
that we fixed the argument upon for the sake of an example,
chooses that which is suitable for him, and avoids what is
harmful, and that he has an art by which he provides what is
suitable, and that he comprehends his own sufferings and
mitigates them, and that he is not without virtue, things in
which perfection of reasoning in thought consists, so according
to this it would seem that the dog has reached perfection. It is
for this reason, it appears to me, that some philosophers have
honoured themselves with the name of this animal. In regard to
reasoning in speech, it is not necessary at present to bring 73
the matter in question. For some of the Dogmatics, even, have
put this aside, as opposing the acquisition of virtue, for which
reason they practiced silence when studying. Besides, let it be
supposed that a man is dumb, no one would say that he is
consequently irrational. However, aside from this, we see after
all, that animals, about which we are speaking, do produce human
sounds, as the jay and some others. Aside from this also, even
if we do not understand the sounds of the so-called irrational 74
irrational animals, it is not at all unlikely that they
converse, and that we do not understand their conversation. For
when we hear the language of foreigners, we do not understand
but it all seems like one sound to us. Furthermore, we hear dogs
giving out one kind of sound when they are resisting someone, 75
and another sound when they howl, and another when they are
beaten, and a different kind when they wag their tails, and
generally speaking, if one examines into this, he will find a
great difference in the sounds of this and other animals under
different circumstances; so that in all likelihood, it may be
said that the so-called irrational animals partake also in
spoken language. If then, they are not inferior to men in the 76
accuracy of their perceptions, nor in reasoning in thought, nor
in reasoning by speech, as it is superfluous to say, then they
are not more untrustworthy than we are, it seems to me, in
regard to their ideas. Perhaps it would be possible to prove
this, should we direct the argument to each of the irrational 77
animals in turn. As for example, who would not say that the
birds are distinguished for shrewdness, and make use of
articulate speech? for they not only know the present but the
future, and this they augur to those that are able to understand
it, audibly as well as in other ways. I have made this
comparison superfluously, as I pointed out above, as I think 78
I had sufficiently shown before, that we cannot consider our own
ideas superior to those of the irrational animals. In short, if
the irrational animals are not more untrustworthy than we in
regard to the judgment of their ideas, and the ideas are
different according to the difference in the animals, I shall be
able to say how each object appears to me, but in regard to what
it is by nature I shall be obliged to suspend my judgment.
THE SECOND TROPE.
Such is the first Trope of [Greek: epoche]. The second, we said 79
above, is based upon the differences in men. For even if one
assent to the hypothesis that men are more trustworthy than the
irrational animals, we shall find that doubt arises as soon as
we consider our own differences. For since man is said to be
composed of two things, soul and body, we differ from each other
in respect to both of these things; for example, as regards the
body, we differ both in form and personal peculiarities. For the 80
body of a Scythian differs from the body of an Indian in
form, the difference resulting, it is said, from the different
control of the humors. According to different control of the
humors, differences in ideas arise also, as we represented under
the first Trope. For this reason there is certainly a great
difference among men in the choice and avoidance of external
things. The Indians delight in different things from our own
people, and the enjoyment of different things is a sign that
different ideas are received of the external objects. We differ 81
in personal peculiarities, as some digest beef better than
the little fish from rocky places, and some are affected with
purging by the weak wine of Lesbos. There was, they say, an old
woman in Attica who could drink thirty drachmas of hemlock
without danger, and Lysis took four drachmas of opium unhurt,
and Demophon, Alexander's table waiter, shivered when he was 82
in the sun or in a hot bath, and felt warm in the shade;
Athenagoras also, from Argos, did not suffer harm if stung by
scorpions and venomous spiders; the so-called Psylli were not
injured when bitten by snakes or by the aspis, and the
Tentyrites among the Egyptians are not harmed by the crocodiles
around them; those also of the Ethiopians who live on the 83
Hydaspes river, opposite Meroe, eat scorpions and serpents, and
similar things without danger; Rufinus in Chalcis could drink
hellebore without vomiting or purging, and he enjoyed and
digested it as something to which he was accustomed; Chrysermos,
the Herophilian, ran the risk of stomach-ache if he ever took 84
pepper, and Soterichus, the surgeon, was seized by purging if he
perceived the odor of roasting shad; Andron, the Argive, was so
free from thirst that he could travel even through the waterless
Libya without looking for a drink; Tiberius, the emperor, saw in
the dark, and Aristotle tells the story of a certain Thracian,
who thought that he saw the figure of a man always going before
him as a guide. While therefore such a difference exists in men 85
in regard to the body, and we must be satisfied with
referring to a few only of the many examples given by the
Dogmatics, it is probable that men also differ from each other
in respect to the soul itself, for the body is a kind of type of
the soul, as the physiognomical craft also shows. The best
example of the numerous and infinite differences of opinion
among men is the contradiction in the sayings of the Dogmatics,
not only about other things, but about what it is well to seek
and to avoid. The poets have also fittingly spoken about 86
this, for Pindar said--
"One delights in getting honors and crowns through
Another in passing life in rooms rich in gold,
Another still, safe travelling enjoys, in a swift ship,
on a wave of the sea."
And the poet says--
"One man enjoys this, another enjoys that."
The tragedies also abound in such expressions, for instance,
it is said--
"If to all, the same were good and wise,
Quarrels and disputes among men would not have been."
"It is awful indeed, that the same thing some mortals
And by others be hated."
Since therefore the choice and the avoidance of things, 87
depends on the pleasure and displeasure which they give, and the
pleasure and displeasure have their seat in perception and
ideas, when some choose the things that others avoid, it is
logical for us to conclude that they are not acted upon
similarly by the same things, for otherwise they would have
chosen or avoided alike. Now if the same things act upon
different men differently, on account of the difference in the
men, for this cause also suspension of the judgment may
reasonably be introduced, and we may perhaps say how each object
appears to us, and what its individual differences are, but we
shall not be able to declare what it is as to the nature of its
essence. For we must either believe all men or some men; but 88
to believe all is to undertake an impossibility, and to accept
things that are in opposition to each other. If we believe some
only, let someone tell us with whom to agree, for the Platonist
would say with Plato, the Epicurean with Epicurus, and others
would advise in a corresponding manner; and so as they disagree,
with no one to decide, they bring us round again to the
suspension of judgment. Furthermore, he who tells us to agree 89
with the majority proposes something childish, as no one could
go to all men and find out what pleases the majority, for it is
possible that in some nations which we do not know the things
which to us are rare are common to the majority, and those
things which happen commonly to us are rare. As for example, it
might happen that the majority should not suffer when bitten by
venomous spiders, or that they should seldom feel pain, or have
other personal peculiarities similar to those spoken of above.
It is necessary therefore to suspend the judgment on account of
the differences in men.
THE THIRD TROPE.
While, however, the Dogmatics are conceited enough to think 90
that they should be preferred to other men in the judgement of
things, we know that their claim is absurd, for they themselves
form a part of the disagreement; and if they give themselves
preference in this way in the judgment of phenomena, they beg
the question before they begin the judgment, as they trust the
judgment to themselves. Nevertheless, in order that we should 91
reach the result of the suspension of judgment by limiting
the argument to one man, one who for example they deem to be
wise, let us take up the third Trope. This is the one that is
based upon differences in perception. That the perceptions 92
differ from each other is evident. For example, paintings seem
to have hollows and prominences to the sense of sight, but not
to the sense of touch, and honey to the tongue of some people
appears pleasant, but unpleasant to the eyes; therefore it is
impossible to say whether it is really pleasant or unpleasant.
In regard to myrrh it is the same, for it delights the sense of
smell, but disgusts the sense of taste. Also in regard to 93
euphorbium, since it is harmful to the eyes and harmless to
all the rest of the body, we are not able to say whether it is
really harmless to bodies or not, as far as its own nature is
concerned. Rain-water, too, is useful to the eyes, but it makes
the trachea and the lungs rough, just as oil does, although it
soothes the skin; and the sea-torpedo placed on the extremities
makes them numb, but is harmless when placed on the rest of the
body. Wherefore we cannot say what each of these things is by
nature. It is possible only to say how it appears each time. We 94
could cite more examples than these, but in order not to
spend too long in laying out the plan of this book we shall
simply say the following: Each of the phenomena perceived by us
seems to present itself in many forms, as the apple, smooth,
fragrant, sweet, yellow. Now it is not known whether it has in
reality only those qualities which appear to us, or if it has
only one quality, but appears different on account of the
different constitution of the sense organs, or if it has more
qualities than appear to us, but some of them do not affect us.
That it has only one quality might be concluded from what we 95
have said about the food distributed in bodies, and the water
distributed in trees, and the breath in the flute and syrinx,
and in similar instruments; for it is possible that the apple
also has only one quality, but appears different on account of
the difference in the sense organs by which it is perceived. On 96
the other hand, that the apple has more qualities than those
that appear to us, can be argued in this way: Let us imagine
someone born with the sense of touch, of smell, and of taste,
but neither hearing nor seeing. He will then assume that neither
anything visible nor anything audible exists at all, but only
the three kinds of qualities which he can apprehend. It is 97
possible then that as we have only the five senses, we apprehend
only those qualities of the apple which we are able to grasp,
but it may be supposed that other qualities exist which would
affect other sense organs if we possessed them; as it is, we do
not feel the sensations which would be felt through them. But 98
nature, one will say, has brought the senses into harmony
with the objects to be perceived. What kind of nature? Among the
Dogmatics a great difference of opinion reigns about the real
existence of nature anyway; for he who decides whether there is
a nature or not, if he is an uneducated man, would be according
to them untrustworthy; if he is a philosopher, he is a part of
the disagreement, and is himself to be judged, but is not a
judge. In short, if it is possible that only those qualities 99
exist in the apple which we seem to perceive, or that more than
these are there, or that not even those which we perceive exist,
it will be unknown to us what kind of a thing the apple is. The
same argument holds for other objects of perception. If,
however, the senses do not comprehend the external world, the
intellect cannot comprehend it either, so that for this reason
also it will appear that the suspension of judgment follows in
regard to external objects.
THE FOURTH TROPE.
In order to attain to [Greek: epoche] by fixing the argument on 100
each separate sense, or even by putting aside the senses
altogether, we take up the fourth Trope of [Greek: epoche]. This
is the one based upon circumstances, and by circumstances we
mean conditions. This Trope comes under consideration, we may
say, with regard to conditions that are according to nature, or
contrary to nature; such as waking or sleeping, the age of life,
moving or keeping still, hating or loving, need or satiety,
drunkenness or sobriety, predispositions, being courageous or
afraid, sorrowing or rejoicing. For example, things appear 101
different as they are according to nature, or contrary to it; as
for instance, the insane and those inspired by a god, think that
they hear gods, while we do not; in like manner they often say
that they perceive the odor of storax or frankincense, or the
like, and many other things which we do not perceive. Water,
also, that seems lukewarm to us, if poured over places that are
inflamed, will feel hot, and a garment that appears
orange-coloured to those that have blood-shot eyes, would not
look so to me, and the same honey appears sweet to me, but
bitter to those who have the jaundice. If one should say 102
that those who are not in a natural state have unusual ideas of
objects, because of the intermingling of certain humors, then
one must also say, that it may be that objects which are really
what they seem to be to those who are in an unnatural condition,
appear different to those who are in health, for even those who
are in health have humors that are mixed with each other. For to 103
give to one kind of fluid a power to change objects, and not
to another kind, is a fiction of the mind; for just as those who
are in health are in a condition that is natural to those who
are in health, and contrary to the nature of those who are not
in health, so also those who are not in health, are in a
condition contrary to the nature of those in health, but natural
to those not in health, and we must therefore believe that they
also are in some respect in a natural condition. Furthermore, 104
in sleep or in waking, the ideas are different, because we
do not see things in the same way when we are awake as we do in
sleep; neither do we see them in the same way in sleep as we do
when awake, so that the existence or non-existence of these
things is not absolute, but relative, that is in relation to a
sleeping or waking condition. It is therefore probable that we
see those things in sleep which in a waking condition do not
exist, but they are not altogether non-existent, for they exist
in sleep, just as those things which exist when we are awake,
exist, although they do not exist in sleep. Furthermore, things 105
present themselves differently according to the age of life,
for the same air seems cold to the aged, but temperate to those
in their prime, and the same color appears dim to those who are
old, and bright to those in their prime, and likewise the same
tone seems faint to the former, and audible to the latter.
People in different ages are also differently disposed 106
towards things to be chosen or avoided; children, for example,
are very fond of balls and hoops, while those in their prime
prefer other things, and the old still others, from which it
follows that the ideas in regard to the same objects differ in
different periods of life. Furthermore, things appear different 107
in a condition of motion and rest, since that which we see at
rest when we are still, seems to move when we are sailing
by it. There are also differences which depend on liking or 108
disliking, as some detest swine flesh exceedingly, but others
eat it with pleasure. As Menander said--
"O how his face appears
Since he became such a man! What a creature!
Doing no injustice would make us also beautiful."
Many also that love ugly women consider them very beautiful
Furthermore, there are differences which depend on hunger or 109
satiety, as the same food seems agreeable to those who are
hungry, and disagreeable to those who are satisfied. There are
also differences depending on drunkenness and sobriety, as that
which we consider ugly when we are sober does not appear ugly to
us when we are drunk. Again, there are differences depending 110
on predispositions, as the same wine appears sourish to those
who have previously eaten dates or dried figs, but agreeable to
those who have taken nuts or chickpeas; the vestibule of the
bath warms those who enter from without, but cools those who go
out, if they rest in it. Furthermore, there are differences 111
depending on being afraid or courageous, as the same thing
seems fearful and terrible to the coward, but in no wise so to
him who is brave. There are differences, also, depending on
being sad or joyful, as the same things are unpleasant to the
sad, but pleasant to the joyful. Since therefore the 112
anomalies depending on conditions are so great, and since men
are in different conditions at different times, it is perhaps
easy to say how each object appears to each man, but not so of
what kind it is, because the anomaly is not of a kind to be
judged. For he who would pass judgment upon this is either in
some one of the conditions mentioned above, or is in absolutely
no condition whatever; but to say that he is in no condition at
all, as, for example, that he is neither in health nor in
illness, that he is neither moving nor quiet, that he is not of
any age, and also that he is free from the other conditions, is
wholly absurd. But if he judges the ideas while he is in any 113
condition whatever, he is a part of the contradiction, and,
besides, he is no genuine critic of external objects, because he
is confused by the condition in which he finds himself.
Therefore neither can the one who is awake compare the ideas of
those who are asleep with those who are awake, nor can he who is
in health compare the ideas of the sick with those of the well;
for we believe more in the things that are present, and
affecting us at present, than in the things not present. In 114
another way, the anomaly in such ideas is impossible to be
judged, for whoever prefers one idea to another, and one
condition to another, does this either without a criterion and a
proof, or with a criterion and a proof; but he can do this
neither without them, for he would then be untrustworthy, nor
with them; for if he judges ideas, he judges them wholly by a
criterion, and he will say that this criterion is either true or
false. But if it is false, he will be untrustworthy; if, on 115
the contrary, he says that it is true, he will say that the
criterion is true either without proof or with proof. If without
proof, he will be untrustworthy; if he says that it is true with
proof, it is certainly necessary that the proof be true, or he
will be untrustworthy. Now will he say that the proof which he
has accepted for the accrediting of the criterion is true,
having judged it, or without having judged it? If he says so 116
without judging it, he will be untrustworthy; if he has judged
it, it is evident that he will say that he has judged according
to some criterion, and we must seek a proof for this criterion,
and for that proof a criterion. For the proof always needs a
criterion to establish it, and the criterion needs a proof that
it may be shown to be true; and a proof can neither be sound
without a pre-existing criterion that is true, nor a criterion
true without a proof that is shown beforehand to be trustworthy.
And so both the criterion and the proof are thrown into the 117
_circulus in probando_, by which it is found that they are both
of them untrustworthy, for as each looks for proof from the
other, each is as untrustworthy as the other. Since then one
cannot prefer one idea to another, either without a proof and a
criterion or with them, the ideas that differ according to
different conditions cannot be judged, so that the suspension of
judgment in regard to the nature of external objects follows
through this Trope also.
THE FIFTH TROPE.
The fifth Trope is that based upon position, distance, and 118
place, for, according to each of these, the same things appear
different, as for example, the same arcade seen from either end
appears curtailed, but from the middle it looks symmetrical on
every side; and the same ship appears small and motionless from
afar, and large and in motion near by, and the same tower
appears round from a distance, but square near by. So much for
distance. Now in reference to place, we say that the light 119
of the lamp appears dim in the sun, but bright in the dark; and
the same rudder appears broken in the sea, but straight out of
it; and the egg in the bird is soft, but in the air hard; and
the lyngurion is a fluid in the lynx, but is hard in the air;
and the coral is soft in the sea, but hard in the air; and a
tone of voice appears different produced by a syrinx, and by a
flute, and different simply in the air. Also in reference to 120
position, the same picture leaned back appears smooth, and
leaned forward a little seems to have hollows and protuberances,
and the necks of doves appear different in color according to
the difference in inclination. Since then all phenomena are 121
seen in relation to place, distance, and position, each of which
relation makes a great difference with the idea, as we have
mentioned, we shall be obliged by this Trope also to come to the
suspension of judgment. For he who wishes to give preference to
certain ones of these ideas will attempt the impossible. For if 122
he simply makes the decision without proof he will be
untrustworthy. If, however, he wishes to make use of a proof,
should he say that the proof is false, he contradicts himself,
but if he declares the proof to be true, proof of its proof will
be demanded of him, and another proof for that, which proof also
must be true, and so on to the _regressus in infinitum_. It is
impossible, however, to present proofs _in infinitum_, so 123
that one will not be able to prove that one idea is to be
preferred to another. Since then one cannot either without proof
or with proof judge the ideas in question, the suspension of
judgment results, and how each thing appears according to this
or that position, or this or that distance, or this or that
place, we perhaps are able to say, but what it really is it is
impossible to declare, for the reasons which we have mentioned.
THE SIXTH TROPE.
The sixth Trope is the one based upon mixtures, according to 124
which we conclude that since no object presents itself alone,
but always together with something else, it is perhaps possible
to say of what nature the mixture is, of the thing itself, and
of that with which it is seen, but of what sort the external
object really is we shall not be able to say. Now it is evident,
I think, that nothing from without is known to us by itself, but
always with something else, and that because of this fact it
appears different. The color of our skin, for example, is 125
different seen in warm air from what it is in cold, and we
could not say what our color really is, only what it is when
viewed under each of these conditions. The same sound appears
different in rare air from what it is in dense, and aromas are
more overpowering in the warm bath and in the sun than they are
in the cold air, and a body surrounded by water is light, but by
air heavy. Leaving aside, however, outer mixtures, our eyes 126
have inside of them coatings and humors. Since then visible
things are not seen without these, they will not be accurately
comprehended, for it is the mixture that we perceive, and for
this reason those who have the jaundice see everything yellow,
and those with bloodshot eyes bloody. Since the same sound
appears different in broad open places from what it does in
narrow and winding ones, and different in pure air and in
impure, it is probable that we do not perceive the tones
unmixed; for the ears have narrow winding passages filled with
vaporous secretions, which it is said gather from places around
the head. Since also there are substances present in the 127
nostrils and in the seat of the sense of taste, we perceive the
things smelled and the things tasted in connection with them,
and not unmixed. So that because of mixture the senses do not
perceive accurately what the external objects are. The intellect 128
even does not do this, chiefly because its guides, the
senses, make mistakes, and perhaps it itself adds a certain
special mixture to those messages communicated by the senses;
for in each place where the Dogmatics think that the ruling
faculty is situated, we see that certain humors are present,
whether one would locate it in the region of the brain, in the
region of the heart, or somewhere else. Since therefore
according to this Trope also, we see that we cannot say anything
regarding the nature of external objects, we are obliged to
suspend our judgment.
THE SEVENTH TROPE.
The seventh Trope is the one which, as we said, is based 129
upon the quantity and constitution of objects, constitution
commonly meaning composition. And it is evident that we are
obliged to suspend our judgment according to this Trope also in
regard to the nature of things. As for example, filings from the
horn of the goat appear white when they are seen separately and
without being put together; put together, however, in the form
of a horn, they look black. And the parts of silver, the filings
that is, by themselves appear black, but as a whole appear
white; and parts of the Taenarus stone look white when ground,
but in the whole stone appear yellow; grains of sand 130
scattered apart from each other appear to be rough, but put
together in a heap, they produce a soft feeling; hellebore taken
fine and downy, causes choking, but it no longer does so when
taken coarse; wine also taken moderately strengthens us, but 131
when taken in excess relaxes the body; food similarly, has a
different effect according to the quantity, at least, it often
disturbs the body when too much is taken, causing dyspepsia and
discharge. We shall be able here also to say of what kind 132
the cutting from the horn is, and what many cuttings put
together are, of what kind a filing of silver is, and what many
of them put together are, of what kind the tiny Taenarus stone,
and what one composed of many small ones is, and in regard to
the grains of sand, and the hellebore, and the wine, and the
food, what they are in relation, but no longer the nature of the
thing by itself, because of the anomaly in the ideas which we
have of things, according to the way in which they are put
together. In general it appears that useful things become 133
harmful when an intemperate use is made of them, and things that
seem harmful when taken in excess, are not injurious in a small
quantity. What we see in the effect of medicines witnesses
especially to this fact, as an exact mixture of simple remedies
makes a compound which is helpful, but sometimes when a very
small inclination of the balance is overlooked, the medicine is
not only not helpful, but very harmful, and often poisonous. So 134
the argument based upon the quantity and constitution of
objects, puts in confusion the existence of external objects.
Therefore this Trope naturally leads us to suspend our judgment,
as we are not able to declare exactly the nature of external
THE EIGHTH TROPE.
The eighth Trope is the one based upon relation, from which 135
we conclude to suspend our judgment as to what things are
absolutely, in their nature, since every thing is in relation to
something else. And we must bear in mind that we use the word
_is_ incorrectly, in place of _appears_, meaning to say, every
thing _appears_ to be in relation. This is said, however, with
two meanings: first, that every thing is in relation to the one
who judges, for the external object, _i.e._ the thing judged,
appears to be in relation to the judge; the other way is that
every thing is in relation to the things considered together
with it, as the relation of the right hand to the left. But we 136
came to the conclusion above, that every thing is in relation
to something, as for example, to the one judging; each thing
appears in relation to this or that animal, and this or that
man, and this or that sense, and in certain circumstances;
as regards things considered together, also, each thing appears
in relation to this or that mixture, and this or that Trope, and
this or that composition, quantity and place. And in another way
it is possible to conclude that every thing is in relation 137
to something, as follows: does the being in difference differ
from the being in relation, or not? If it does not differ, then
it is the same as relation; if it does differ, since every thing
which differs is in some relation, for it is said to be in
relation to that from which it differs, those things which are
in a difference are in a relation to something. Now according 138
to the Dogmatics, some beings belong to the highest genera,
others to the lowest species, and others to both genera
and species at the same time; all of these are in relation to
something, therefore every thing is in relation to something.
Furthermore, among things, some things are manifest, and others
are hidden, as the Dogmatics themselves say, and the things that
make themselves known to us are the phenomena, and the things
that are made known to us by the phenomena are the hidden
things, for according to the Dogmatics, the phenomena are the
outward appearance of the unknown; then that which makes known,
and that which is made known, are in relation to something;
every thing, therefore, is in relation to something. In 139
addition to this, some things are similar to each other, and
others are dissimilar, some are equal, and others are unequal.
Now these things are in relation to something, therefore every
thing is in relation to something, and whoever says that every
thing is not in relation to something, himself establishes the
fact that every thing is in relation to something, for even in
saying that every thing is not in relation to something, he 140
proves it in reference to us, and not in general, by his
objections to us. In short, as we have shown that every thing is
in relation to something, it is then evident that we shall not
be able to say exactly what each object is by nature, but what
it appears to be like in relation to something else. It follows
from this, that we must suspend our judgment regarding the
nature of things.
THE NINTH TROPE.
In regard to the Trope based on the frequency and rarity of 141
events, which we call the ninth of the series, we give the
following explanation: The sun is certainly a much more
astonishing thing than a comet, but because we see the sun
continually and the comet rarely we are so much astonished at
the comet that it even seems an omen, while we are not at all
astonished at the sun. If, however, we should imagine the sun
appearing at rare intervals, and at rare intervals setting, in
the first instance suddenly lighting up all things, and in the
second casting everything into shade, we should see great
astonishment at the sight. An earthquake, too, does not trouble 142
those who experience it for the first time in the same manner
as those who have become accustomed to it. How great the
astonishment of a man who beholds the sea for the first time!
And the beauty of the human body, seen suddenly for the first
time, moves us more than if we are accustomed to seeing it. That
which is rare seems valuable, while things that are familiar 143
and easily obtained seem by no means so. If, for example, we
should imagine water as rare, of how much greater value would it
seem than all other valuable things! or if we imagine gold as
simply thrown about on the ground in large quantities like
stones, to whom do we think it would be valuable, or by whom
would it be hoarded, as it is now? Since then the same things
according to the frequency or rarity that they are met with seem
to be now valuable and now not so, we conclude that it may be
that we shall be able to say what kind of a thing each of 144
them appears to be according to the frequency or rarity with
which it occurs, but we are not able to say what each external
object is absolutely. Therefore, according to this Trope also,
we suspend our judgment regarding these things.
THE TENTH TROPE.
The tenth Trope is the one principally connected with 145
morals, relating to schools, customs, laws, mythical beliefs,
and dogmatic opinions. Now a school is a choice of a manner of
life, or of something held by one or many, as for example the
school of Diogenes or the Laconians. A law is a written 146
contract among citizens, the transgressor of which is punished.
A custom or habit, for there is no difference, is a common
acceptance of a certain thing by many, the deviator from which
is in no wise punished. For example, it is a law not to commit
adultery, and it is a custom with us [Greek: to me demosia
gynaiki mignusthai]. A mythical belief is a tradition 147
regarding things which never took place, but were invented, as
among others, the tales about Cronus, for many are led to
believe them. A dogmatic opinion is the acceptance of something
that seems to be established by a course of reasoning, or by
some proof, as for example, that atoms are elements of things,
and that they are either homogeneous, or infinitesimal, or of
some other description. Now we place each of these things
sometimes in opposition to itself, and sometimes in opposition
to each one of the others. For example, we place a custom in 148
opposition to a custom thus: some of the Ethiopians tattoo
new-born children, but we do not, and the Persians think it is
seemly to have a garment of many colors and reaching to the
feet, but we think it not so. The Indians [Greek: tais gynaixi
deomosia mignyntai] but most of the other nations consider it a
shame. We place a law in opposition to a law in this way: 149
among the Romans he who renounces his paternal inheritance does
not pay his father's debts, but among the Rhodians he pays them
in any case; and among the Tauri in Scythia it was a law to
offer strangers in sacrifice to Artemis, but with us it is
forbidden to kill a man near a temple. We place a school in 150
opposition to a school when we oppose the school of Diogenes to
that of Aristippus, or that of the Laconians to that of the
Italians. We place a mythical belief in opposition to a mythical
belief, as by some traditions Jupiter is said to be the father
of men and gods, and by others Oceanus, as we say--
"Oceanus father of the gods, and Tethys the mother."
We place dogmatic opinions in opposition to each other, when 151
we say that some declare that there is only one element, but
others that they are infinite in number, and some that the soul
is mortal, others that it is immortal; and some say that our
affairs are directed by the providence of the gods, but others
that there is no providence. We place custom in opposition 152
to other things, as for example to a law, when we say that among
the Persians it is the custom to practice [Greek: arrenomixiai],
but among the Romans it is forbidden by law to do it; by us
adultery is forbidden, but among the Massagetae indifference in
this respect is allowed by custom, as Eudoxos of Cnidus relates
in the first part of his book of travels; among us it is
forbidden [Greek: metrasi mignusthai], but among the Persians it
is the custom by preference to marry so; the Egyptians marry
sisters also, which among us is forbidden by law. Further, 153
we place a custom in opposition to a school, when we say that
most men [Greek: anachorountes mignuontai tais heauton gunaixin,
ho de Krates te Hipparchia demosia], and Diogenes went around
with one shoulder bare, but we go around with our customary
clothes. We place a custom in opposition to a mythical 154
belief, as when the myths say that Cronus ate his own children,
while with us it is the custom to take care of our children; and
among us it is the custom to venerate the gods as good, and not
liable to evil, but they are described by the poets as being
wounded, and also as being jealous of each other. We place a
custom in opposition to a dogmatic opinion when we say that 155
it is a custom with us to seek good things from the gods, but
that Epicurus says that the divine pays no heed to us;
Aristippus also held it to be a matter of indifference to wear a
woman's robe, but we consider it shameful. We place a school in
opposition to a law, as according to the law it is not allowed 156
to beat a free and noble born man, but the wrestlers and
boxers strike each other according to the teaching of their
manner of life, and although murder is forbidden, the gladiators
kill each other for the same reason. We place a mythical 157
belief in opposition to a school when we say that, although the
myths say of Hercules that in company with Omphale--
"He carded wool, and bore servitude,"
and did things that not even an ordinary good man would have
done, yet Hercules' theory of life was noble. We place a 158
mythical belief in opposition to a dogmatic opinion when we
say that athletes seeking after glory as a good, enter for its
sake upon a laborious profession, but many philosophers, on the
other hand, teach that glory is worthless. We place law in
opposition to mythical belief when we say the poets 159
represent the gods as working adultery and sin, but among us the
law forbids those things. We place law in opposition to dogmatic
opinion when we say that the followers of Chrysippus hold 160
that it is a matter of indifference to marry one's mother or
sister, but the law forbids these things. We place a mythical
belief in opposition to a dogmatic opinion when we say that 161
the poets represent Jupiter as descending and holding
intercourse with mortal women, but the Dogmatics think this was
impossible; also that the poet says that Jupiter, on account 162
of his sorrow for Sarpedon, rained drops of blood upon the
earth, but it is a dogma of the philosophers that the divine is
exempt from suffering; and they deny the myth of the
horse-centaurs, giving us the horse-centaur as an example of
non-existence. Now we could give many other examples of each 163
of the antitheses mentioned above, but for a brief argument,
these are sufficient. Since, however, such anomaly of things is
shown by this Trope also, we shall not be able to say what
objects are by nature, but only what each thing appears to be
like, according to this or that school, or this or that law, or
this or that custom, or according to each of the other
conditions. Therefore, by this Trope also, we must suspend our
judgment in regard to the nature of external objects. Thus we
arrive at [Greek: epoche] through the ten Tropes.
_The Five Tropes._
The later Sceptics, however, teach the following five Tropes 164
of [Greek: epoche]: first, the one based upon contradiction;
second, the _regressus in infinitum_; third, relation; fourth,
the hypothetical; fifth, the _circulus in probando_. The one 165
based upon contradiction is the one from which we find, that in
reference to the thing put before us for investigation, a
position has been developed which is impossible to be judged,
either practically, or theoretically, and therefore, as we are
not able to either accept or reject anything, we end in
suspending the judgment. The one based upon the _regressus 166
in infinitum_ is that in which we say that the proof brought
forward for the thing set before us calls for another proof, and
that one another, and so on to infinity, so that, not having
anything from which to begin the reasoning, the suspension of
judgment follows. The one based upon relation, as we have 167
said before, is that one in which the object appears of this
kind or that kind, as related to the judge and to the things
regarded together with it, but we suspend our judgment as to
what it is in reality. The one based upon hypothesis is 168
illustrated by the Dogmatics, when in the _regressus in
infinitum_ they begin from something that they do not found on
reason, but which they simply take for granted without proof.
The Trope, _circulus in probando_, arises when the thing 169
which ought to prove the thing sought for, needs to be sustained
by the thing sought for, and as we are unable to take the one
for the proof of the other, we suspend our judgment in regard to
both. Now we shall briefly show that it is possible to refer
every thing under investigation to one or another of these
Tropes, as follows: the thing before us is either sensible or
intellectual; difference of opinion exists, however, as to what
it is in itself, for some say that only the things of sense 170
are true, others, only those belonging to the understanding, and
others say that some things of sense, and some of thought, are
true. Now, will it be said that this difference of opinion can
be judged or cannot be judged? If it cannot be judged, then we
have the result necessarily of suspension of judgment, because
it is impossible to express opinion in regard to things about
which a difference of opinion exists which cannot be judged. If
it can be judged, then we ask how it is to be judged? For 171
example, the sensible, for we shall limit the argument first to
this--Is it to be judged by sensible or by intellectual
standards? For if it is to be judged by a sensible one, since we
are in doubt about the sensible, that will also need something
else to sustain it; and if that proof is also something
sensible, something else will again be necessary to prove it,
and so on _in infinitum_. If, on the contrary, the sensible must
be judged by something intellectual, as there is disagreement 172
in regard to the intellectual, this intellectual thing will
require also judgment and proof. Now, how is it to be proved?
If by something intellectual, it will likewise be thrown
into _infinitum_; if by something sensible, as the intellectual
has been taken for the proof of the sensible, and the sensible
has been taken for that of the intellectual, the _circulus in
probando_ is introduced. If, however, in order to escape 173
from this, the one who is speaking to us expects us to take
something for granted which has not been proved, in order to
prove what follows, the hypothetical Trope is introduced, which
provides no way of escape. For if the one who makes the
hypothesis is worthy of confidence, we should in every case be
no less worthy of confidence in making a contrary hypothesis. If
the one who makes the assumption assumes something true, he
makes it suspicious by using it as a hypothesis, and not as an
established fact; if it is false, the foundation of the
reasoning is unsound. If a hypothesis is any help towards a 174
trustworthy result, let the thing in question itself be assumed,
and not something else, by which, forsooth, one would establish
the thing under discussion. If it is absurd to assume the thing
questioned, it is also absurd to assume that upon which it
rests. That all things belonging to the senses are also in 175
relation to something else is evident, because they are in
relation to those who perceive them. It is clear then, that
whatever thing of sense is brought before us, it may be easily
referred to one of the five Tropes. And we come to a similar
conclusion in regard to intellectual things. For if it should be
said that there is a difference of opinion regarding them which
cannot be judged, it will be granted that we must suspend the
judgment concerning it. In case the difference of opinion 176
can be judged, if it is judged through anything intellectual, we
fall into the _regressus in infinitum_, and if through anything
sensible into the _circulus in probando_; for, as the sensible
is again subject to difference of opinion, and cannot be judged
by the sensible on account of the _regressus in infinitum_, it
will have need of the intellectual, just as the intellectual has
need of the sensible. But he who accepts anything which is
hypothetical again is absurd. Intellectual things stand also 177
in relation, because the form in which they are expressed
depends on the mind of the thinker, and, if they were in reality
exactly as they are described, there would not have been any
difference of opinion about them. Therefore the intellectual
also is brought under the five Tropes, and consequently it is
necessary to suspend the judgment altogether with regard to
every thing that is brought before us. Such are the five Tropes
taught by the later Sceptics. They set them forth, not to throw
out the ten Tropes, but in order to put to shame the audacity of
the Dogmatics in a variety of ways, by these Tropes as well as
_The Two Tropes._
Two other Tropes of [Greek: epoche] are also taught. For as it 178
appears that everything that is comprehended is either
comprehended through itself or through something else, it is
thought that this fact introduces doubt in regard to all things.
And that nothing can be understood through itself is evident, it
is said, from the disagreement which exists altogether among the
physicists in regard to sensible and intellectual things. I
mean, of course, a disagreement which cannot be judged, as we
are not able to use a sensible or an intellectual criterion in
judging it, for everything that we would take has a part in the
disagreement, and is untrustworthy. Nor is it conceded that
anything can be comprehended through something else; for if 179
a thing is comprehended through something, that must always in
turn be comprehended through something else, and the _regressus
in infinitum_ or the _circulus in probando_ follow. If, on the
contrary, a thing is comprehended through something that one
wishes to use as if it had been comprehended through itself,
this is opposed to the fact that nothing can be comprehended
through itself, according to what we have said. We do not know
how that which contradicts itself can be comprehended, either
through itself or through something else, as no criterion of the
truth or of comprehension appears, and signs without proof would
be rejected, as we shall see in the next book. So much will
suffice for the present about suspension of judgment.
_What are the Tropes for the overturning of Aetiology?_
In the same manner as we teach the Tropes of [Greek: epoche], 180
some set forth Tropes through which we oppose the Dogmatics,
by expressing doubt in regard to the aetiology of which they are
especially proud. So Aenesidemus teaches eight Tropes, by which
he thinks that he can prove all the dogmatic aetiology useless.
The first of these Tropes, he said, relates to the character 181
of aetiology in general, which does not give incontestable
testimony in regard to phenomena, because it treats of unseen
things. The second Trope states that although abundant resources
exist by which to investigate the cause of a thing in question,
some Dogmatics investigate it in one way only. The third Trope 182
states that the Dogmatics assign causes which do not show
any order for things which have taken place in an orderly
manner. The fourth Trope states that the Dogmatics, accepting
phenomena as they take place, think that they also understand
how unseen things take place, although perhaps the unseen things
have taken place in the same way as the phenomena, and perhaps
in some other way peculiar to themselves. The fifth Trope states 183
that they all, so to speak, assign causes according to their
own hypotheses about the elements, but not according to any
commonly accepted methods. The sixth states that they often
explain things investigated according to their own hypotheses,
but ignore opposing hypotheses which have equal probability. The
seventh states that they often give reasons for things that 184
not only conflict with phenomena, but also with their own
hypotheses. The eighth states that although that which seems
manifest, and that which is to be investigated, are often
equally inscrutable, they build up a theory from the one about
the other, although both are equally inscrutable. It is not
impossible, Aenesidemus said also, that some Dogmatics 185
should fail in their theories of causality from other
combinations of reasons deducible from the Tropes given above.
Perhaps also the five Tropes of [Greek: epoche] are sufficient
to refute aetiology, for he who proposes a cause will propose
one which is either in harmony with all the sects of philosophy,
with Scepticism, and with phenomena, or one that is not.
Perhaps, however, it is not possible that a cause should be in
harmony with them, for phenomena and unknown things altogether
disagree with each other. If it is not in harmony with them, the
reason of this will also be demanded of the one who proposed 186
it; and if he accepts a phenomenon as the cause of a phenomenon,
or something unknown as the cause of the unknown, he will be
thrown into the _regressus in infinitum_; if he uses one cause
to account for another one, into the _circulus in probando_; but
if he stops anywhere, he will either say that the cause that he
proposes holds good so far as regards the things that have been
said, and introduce relation, abolishing an absolute standpoint;
or if he accepts anything by hypothesis, he will be attacked by
us. Therefore it is perhaps possible to put the temerity of the
Dogmatics to shame in aetiology by these Tropes.
_The Sceptical Formulae._
When we use any one of these Tropes, or the Tropes of 187
[Greek: epoche], we employ with them certain formulae which show
the Sceptical method and our own feeling, as for instance, the
sayings, "No more," "One must determine nothing," and certain
others. It is fitting therefore to treat of these in this place.
Let us begin with "No more."
_The Formula "No more."_
We sometimes express this as I have given it, and sometimes 188
thus, "Nothing more." For we do not accept the "No more," as
some understand it, for the examination of the special, and
"Nothing more" for that of the general, but we use "No more" and
"Nothing more" without any difference, and we shall at present
treat of them as one and the same expression. Now this formula
is defective, for as when we say a double one we really mean a
double garment, and when we say a broad one we really mean a
broad road; so when we say "No more" we mean really no more than
this, or in every way the same. But some of the Sceptics use 189
instead of the interrogation "No?" the interrogation "What, this
rather than this?" using the word "what" in the sense of "what
is the reason," so that the formula means, "What is the reason
for this rather than for this?" It is a customary thing,
however, to use an interrogation instead of a statement, as "Who
of the mortals does not know the wife of Jupiter?" and also to
use a statement instead of an interrogation, as "I seek where
Dion dwells," and "I ask why one should admire a poet." The word
"what" is also used instead of "what for" by Menander--"(For)
what did I remain behind?" The formula "Not more this than this"
expresses our own condition of mind, and signifies that 190
because of the equality of the things that are opposed to each
other we finally attain to a state of equilibrium of soul. We
mean by equality that equality which appears to us as probable,
by things placed in opposition to each other we mean simply
things which conflict with each other, and by a state of
equilibrium we mean a state in which we do not assent to one
thing more than to another. Even if the formula "Nothing 191
more" seems to express assent or denial, we do not use it so,
but we use it loosely, and not with accuracy, either instead of
an interrogation or instead of saying, "I do not know to which
of these I would assent, and to which I would not." What lies
before us is to express what appears to us, but we are
indifferent to the words by which we express it. This must be
understood, however, that we use the formula "Nothing more"
without affirming in regard to it that it is wholly sure and
true, but we present it as it appears to us.
We explain Aphasia as follows: The word [Greek: phasis] is used 192
in two ways, having a general and a special signification.
According to the general signification, it expresses affirmation
or negation, as "It is day" or "It is not day"; according to the
special signification, it expresses an affirmation only, and
negations are not called [Greek: phaseis]. Now Aphasia is the
opposite of [Greek: phasis] in its general signification, which,
as we said, comprises both affirmation and negation. It follows
that Aphasia is a condition of mind, according to which we say
that we neither affirm nor deny anything. It is evident from
this that we do not understand by Aphasia something that 193
inevitably results from the nature of things, but we mean that
we now find ourselves in the condition of mind expressed by it
in regard to the things that are under investigation. It is
necessary to remember that we do not say that we affirm or deny
any of those things that are dogmatically stated in regard to
the unknown, for we yield assent only to those things which
affect our feelings and oblige us to assent to them.
_"Perhaps," and "It is possible," and "It may be."_
The formulae "Perhaps," and "Perhaps not," and "It is 194
possible," and "It is not possible," and "It may be," and "It
may not be," we use instead of "Perhaps it is," and "Perhaps it
is not," and "It is possible that it is," and "It is possible
that it is not," and "It may be that it is," and "It may be that
it is not." That is, we use the formula "It is not possible" for
the sake of brevity, instead of saying "It is not possible to
be," and "It may not be" instead of "It may not be that it is,"
and "Perhaps not" instead of "Perhaps it is not." Again, we do
not here dispute about words, neither do we question if the 195
formulae mean these things absolutely, but we use them loosely,
as I said before. Yet I think it is evident that these formulae
express Aphasia. For certainly the formula "Perhaps it is"
really includes that which seems to contradict it, _i.e._ the
formula "Perhaps it is not," because it does not affirm in in
regard to anything that it is really so. It is the same also in
regard to the others.
[Greek: epoche] _or the Suspension of Judgment._
When I say that I suspend my judgment, I mean that I cannot 196
say which of those things presented should be believed, and
which should not be believed, showing that things appear equal
to me in respect to trustworthiness and untrustworthiness. Now
we do not affirm that they are equal, but we state what appears
to us in regard to them at the time when they present themselves
to us. [Greek: epoche] means the holding back of the opinion, so
as neither to affirm nor deny anything because of the equality
of the things in question.
_The Formula "I determine Nothing."_
In regard to the formula "I determine nothing," we say the 197
following: By "determine" we mean, not simply to speak, but to
give assent to an affirmation with regard to some unknown thing.
For it will soon be found that the Sceptic determines nothing,
not even the formula "I determine nothing," for this formula is
not a dogmatic opinion, that is an assent to something unknown,
but an expression declaring what our condition of mind is. When,
for example, the Sceptic says, "I determine nothing," he means
this: "According to my present feeling I can assert or deny
nothing dogmatically regarding the things under investigation,"
and in saying this he expresses what appears to him in reference
to the things under discussion. He does not express himself
positively, but he states what he feels.
_The Formula "Every thing is Undetermined."_
The expression "Indetermination" furthermore shows a state 198
of mind in which we neither deny nor affirm positively anything
regarding things that are investigated in a dogmatic way, that
is the things that are unknown. When then the Sceptic says
"Every thing is undetermined," he uses "is undetermined," in the
sense of "it appears undetermined to him." The words "every
thing" do not mean all existences, but those that he has
examined of the unknown things that are investigated by the
Dogmatists. By "undetermined," he means that there is no
preference in the things that are placed in opposition to each
other, or that they simply conflict with each other in respect
to trustworthiness or untrustworthiness. And as the one who 199
says "I am walking" really means "It is I that am walking," so
he who says "Every thing is undetermined" means at the same
time, according to our teachings, "as far as I am concerned," or
"as it appears to me," as if he were saying "As far as I have
examined the things that are under investigation in a dogmatic
manner, it appears to me that no one of them excels the one
which conflicts with it in trustworthiness or
_The Formula "Every thing is Incomprehensible."_
We treat the formula "Every thing is incomprehensible" in 200
the same way. For "every thing" we interpret in the same way as
above, and we supply the words "to me" so that what we say is
this: "As far as I have inspected the unknown things which are
dogmatically examined, it appears to me that every thing is
incomprehensible." This is not, however, to affirm that the
things which are examined by the Dogmatists are of such a nature
as to be necessarily incomprehensible, but one expresses his own
feeling in saying "I see that I have not thus far comprehended
any of those things because of the equilibrium of the things
that are placed in opposition to each other." Whence it seems to
me that every thing that has been brought forward to dispute our
formulae has fallen wide of the mark.
_The Formulae "I do not comprehend" and "I do not
The formulae "I do not comprehend" and "I do not understand" 201
show a condition of mind in which the Sceptic stands aloof for
the present from asserting or denying anything in regard to the
unknown things under investigation, as is evident from what we
said before about the other formulae.
_The Formula "To place an equal Statement in opposition
to every Statement."_
Furthermore, when we say "Every statement may have an equal 202
statement placed in opposition to it," by "every," we mean all
the statements that we have examined; we do not use the word
"statement" simply, but for a statement which seeks to prove
something dogmatically about things that are unknown, and not at
all one that shows a process of reasoning from premises and
conclusions, but something which is put together in any sort of
way. We use the word "equal" in reference to trustworthiness or
untrustworthiness. "Is placed in opposition" we use instead of
the common expression "to conflict with," and we supply "as it
appears to me." When therefore one says, "It seems to me 203
that every statement which I have examined, which proves
something dogmatically, may have another statement placed in
opposition to it which also proves something dogmatically, and
which is equal to it in trustworthiness and untrustworthiness,"
this is not asserted dogmatically, but is an expression of human
feeling as it appears to the one who feels it. Some Sceptics 204
express the formula as follows: "Every statement should have an
equal one placed in opposition to it," demanding it
authoritatively thus: "Let us place in opposition to every
statement that proves something dogmatically another conflicting
statement which also seeks to prove something dogmatically, and
is equal to it in trustworthiness and untrustworthiness."
Naturally this is directed to the Sceptics, but the infinitive
should be used instead of the imperative, that is, "to oppose"
instead of "let us oppose." This formula is recommended to the 205
Sceptic, lest he should be deceived by the Dogmatists and
give up his investigations, and rashly fail of the [Greek:
ataraxia] which is thought to accompany [Greek: epoche] in
regard to everything, as we have explained above.
_General Observations on the Formulae of the Sceptics._
We have treated of a sufficient number of these formulae for 206
an outline, especially since what we have said about those
mentioned applies also to others that we have omitted. In regard
to all the Sceptical formulae, it must be understood in advance
that we do not affirm them to be absolutely true, because we say
that they can even refute themselves, since they are themselves
included in those things to which they refer, just as cathartic
medicines not only purge the body of humors, but carry off
themselves with the humors. We say then that we use these 207
formulae, not as literally making known the things for which
they are used, but loosely, and if one wishes, inaccurately. It
is not fitting for the Sceptic to dispute about words,
especially as it contributes to our purpose to say that these
formulae have no absolute meaning; their meaning is a relative
one, that is, relative to the Sceptics. Besides, it is to be 208
remembered that we do not say them about all things in general,
but about the unknown, and things that are dogmatically
investigated, and that we say what appears to us, and that we do
not express ourselves decidedly about the nature of external
objects. By this means I think that every sophism brought
against the Sceptical formulae can be overturned. We have now 209
shown the character of Scepticism by examining its idea, its
parts, its criterion and aim, and also the Tropes of [Greek:
epoche], and by treating of the Sceptical formulae. We think it
therefore appropriate to enter briefly into the distinction
between Scepticism and the nearly related schools of philosophy
in order to more clearly understand the Sceptical School. We
will begin with the philosophy of Heraclitus.
_In what does the Sceptical School differ from the Philosophy
Now that this school differs from ours is evident, for 210
Heraclitus expresses himself about many unknown things
dogmatically, which we do not, as has been said. Aenesidemus and
his followers said that the Sceptical School is the way to the
philosophy of Heraclitus. They gave as a reason for this that
the statement that contradictory predicates appear to be
applicable to the same thing, leads the way to the statement
that contradictory predicates are in reality applicable to the
same thing; and as the Sceptics say that contradictory
predicates appear to be applicable to the same thing, the
Heraclitans proceed from this to the doctrine that such
predicates are in reality applicable. We reply to this that the
statement that contradictory predicates appear to be applicable
to the same thing is not a dogma of the Sceptics, but is a fact
that presents itself not only to the Sceptics, but to other
philosophers, and to all men. No one, for instance, would 211
venture to say that honey does not taste sweet to those in
health, and bitter to those who have the jaundice, so that the
Heraclitans start from a preconception common to all men, as do
we also, and perhaps the other schools of philosophy likewise.
If, however, they had attributed the origin of the statement
that contradictory predicates are present in the same thing to
any of the Sceptical teachings, as, for example, to the formula
"Every thing is incomprehensible," or "I determine nothing," or
any of the other similar ones, it may be that which they say
would follow; but since they start from that which is a common
experience, not only to us, but to other philosophers, and in
life, why should one say that our school is a path to the
philosophy of Heraclitus more than any of the other schools of
philosophy, or than life itself, as we all make use of the same
subject matter? On the other hand, the Sceptical School may not 212
only fail to help towards the knowledge of the philosophy of
Heraclitus, but may even hinder it! For the Sceptic attacks all
the dogmas of Heraclitus as having been rashly given, and
opposes on the one hand the doctrine of conflagration, and on
the other, the doctrine that contradictory predicates in reality
apply to the same thing, and in regard to every dogma of
Heraclitus he scorns his dogmatic rashness, and then, in the
manner that I have before referred to, adduces the formulae "I
do not understand" and "I determine nothing," which conflict
with the Heraclitan doctrines. It is absurd to say that this
conflicting school is a path to the very sect with which it
conflicts. It is then absurd to say that the Sceptical School is
a path to the philosophy of Heraclitus.
_In what does the Sceptical School differ from the Philosophy
The philosophy of Democritus is also said to have community 213
with Scepticism, because it seems to use the same matter that we
do. For, from the fact that honey seems sweet to some and bitter
to others, Democritus reasons, it is said, that honey is neither
sweet nor bitter, and therefore he accords with the formula "No
more," which is a formula of the Sceptics. But the Sceptics and
the Democritans use the formula "No more" differently from each
other, for they emphasise the negation in the expression, but
we, the not knowing whether both of the phenomena exist or
neither one, and so we differ in this respect. The distinction,
however, becomes most evident when Democritus says that 214
atoms and empty space are real, for by real he means existing in
reality. Now, although he begins with the anomaly in phenomena,
yet, since he says that atoms and empty space really exist, it
is superfluous, I think, even to say that he differs from us.
_In what does Scepticism differ from the Cyrenaic Philosophy?_
Some say that the Cyrenaic School is the same as the 215
Sceptical, because that school also claims to comprehend only
conditions of mind. It differs, however, from it, because, while
the former makes pleasure and the gentle motion of the flesh its
aim, we make [Greek: ataraxia] ours, and this is opposed to the
aim of their school. For whether pleasure is present or not,
confusion awaits him who maintains that pleasure is an aim, as I
have shown in what I said about the aim. And then, in addition,
we suspend our judgment as far as the reasoning with regard to
external objects is concerned, but the Cyrenaics pronounce the
nature of these inscrutable.
_In what does Scepticism differ from the Philosophy of
Protagoras makes man the measure of all things, of things 216
that are that they are, and things that are not that they are
not, meaning by measure, criterion, and by things, events, that
is to say really, man is the criterion for all events, of things
that are that they are, and of things that are not that they are
not. And for that reason he accepts only the phenomena that
appear to each man, and thus he introduces relation. Therefore 217
he seems to have community with the Pyrrhoneans. He differs,
however, from them, and we shall see the difference after we
have somewhat explained how things seemed to Protagoras. He
says, for example, that matter is fluid, and as it flows,
additions are constantly made in the place of that which is
carried away; the perceptions also are arranged anew and
changed, according to the age and according to other conditions
of the body. He says also, that the reasons of all phenomena 218
are present in matter, so that matter can be all that it appears
to be to all men as far as its power is concerned. Men, however,
apprehend differently at different times, according to the
different conditions that they are in; for he that is in a
natural condition will apprehend those qualities in matter that
can appear to those who are in a natural condition, while on 219
the contrary, those who are in an unnatural condition will
apprehend those qualities that can appear to the abnormal.
Furthermore, the same reasoning would hold true in regard to
differences in age, to sleeping and waking, and each of the
other different conditions. Therefore man becomes the criterion
of things that are, for all things that appear to men exist for
men, and those things that do not appear to any one among men do
not exist. We see that he dogmatises in saying that matter is
fluid, and also in saying that the reasons for all phenomena
have their foundation in matter, while these things are unknown,
and to us are things regarding which we suspend our judgment.
_In what does Scepticism differ from the Academic
Some say further that the Academic philosophy is the same as 220
Scepticism, therefore it seems appropriate to me to treat of
that also. There have been, as the most say, three
Academies--the most ancient one, that of Plato and his
followers; the second and middle one, that of Arcesilaus and his
followers, Arcesilaus being the pupil of Polemo; the third and
new Academy, that of Carneades and Clitomachus and their
followers; some add also a fourth, that of Philo and Charmides,
and their followers; and some count even a fifth, that of
Antiochus and his followers. Beginning then from the old
Academy, let us consider the difference between the schools of
philosophy mentioned. Now some have said that Plato was a 221
Dogmatic, others that he was a Sceptic, and others that he was
in some things a Sceptic and in some things a Dogmatic. For in
the fencing dialogues, where Socrates is introduced as either
making sport of someone or contending against the Sophists,
Plato has, they say, a fencing and sceptical character, but he
is dogmatic when he expresses himself seriously, either through
Socrates or Timaeus or any such person. In regard to those 222
who say that he is a Dogmatic, or a Dogmatic in some things and
a Sceptic in others, it would be superfluous, it seems to me, to
speak now, for they themselves grant that he is different from
us. The question as to whether he was really a Sceptic or not we
treat more fully in the Memoranda, but here we state briefly
that according to Menodotus and Aenesidemus (for these
especially defended this position) Plato dogmatises when he
expresses himself regarding ideas, and regarding the existence
of Providence, and when he states that the virtuous life is more
to be chosen than the one of vice. If he assents to these things
as true, he dogmatises; or even if he accepts them as more
probable than otherwise he departs from the sceptical character,
since he gives a preference to one thing above another in
trustworthiness or untrustworthiness; for how foreign this is to
us is evident from what we have said before. Even if when he 223
performs mental gymnastics, as they say, he expresses some
things sceptically, he is not because of this a Sceptic. For he
who dogmatises about one thing, or, in short, gives preference
to one mental image over another in trustworthiness or
untrustworthiness in respect to anything that is unknown, is a
Dogmatic in character, as Timon shows by what he said of
Xenophanes. For after having praised Xenophanes in many 224
things, and even after having dedicated his Satires to him, he
made him mourn and say--
"Would that I also might gain that mind profound,
Able to look both ways. In a treacherous path have
I been decoyed,
And still in old age am with all wisdom unwed.
For wherever I turned my view
All things were resolved into unity; all things, alway
From all sources drawn, were merged into nature the same."
Timon calls him somewhat, but not entirely, free from
vanity, when he said--
"Xenophanes somewhat free from vanity, mocker of
Far from men he conceived a god, on all sides equal,
Above pain, a being spiritualised, or intellect."
In saying that he was somewhat free from vanity, he meant that
he was in some things free from vanity. He called him a mocker
of the Homeric deceit because he had scoffed at the deceit in
Homer. Xenophanes also dogmatised, contrary to the assumptions 225
of other men, that all things are one, and that God is grown
together with all things, that He is spherical, insensible,
unchangeable, and reasonable, whence the difference of
Xenophanes from us is easily proved. In short, from what has
been said, it is evident that although Plato expresses doubt
about some things, so long as he has expressed himself in
certain places in regard to the existence of unknown things, or
as preferring some things to others in trustworthiness, he
cannot be, it seems to me, a Sceptic. Those of the New Academy,
although they say that all things are incomprehensible, 226
differ from the Sceptics, perhaps even in saying that all things
are incomprehensible (for they assert decidedly in regard to
this, but the Sceptic thinks it possible that some things may be
comprehended), but they differ evidently still further from us
in their judgment of good and evil. For the Academicians say
that there is such a thing as good and evil, not as we say it,
but more with the conviction that that which they call good
exists than that it does not; and likewise in regard to the
evil, while we do not say anything is good or evil with the
conviction that it is probably so, but we live our lives in an
unprejudiced way in order not to be inactive. Moreover, we say
that our ideas are equal to each other in trustworthiness 227
and untrustworthiness, as far as their nature goes, while they
say that some are probable and others improbable. They make a
difference also between the improbable ones, for they believe
that some of them are only probable, others probable and
undisputed, still others probable, undisputed, and tested. As
for example, when a coiled rope is lying in a somewhat dark
room, he who comes in suddenly gets only a probable idea of it,
and thinks that it is a serpent; but it appears to be a rope 228
to him who has looked carefully around, and found out that it
does not move, and that it is of such a color, and so on,
according to an idea which is probable and undisputed. The
tested idea is like this: It is said that Hercules led Alcestis
after she was dead back again from Hades and showed her to
Admetus, and he received an idea that was probable and
undisputed regarding Alcestis. As, however, he knew that she was
dead, his mind drew back from belief and inclined to disbelief.
Now those belonging to the New Academy prefer the idea which 229
is probable and undisputed to the simply probable one. To both
of these, however, they prefer that which is probable,
undisputed, and tested. If, however, both those of the Academy
and the Sceptics say that they believe certain things, there is
an evident difference between the two schools of philosophy even
in this; for "to believe" is used in a different sense, 230
meaning, on the one hand, not to resist, but simply to accept
without strong inclination and approval, as the child is said to
believe the teacher; on the other hand, "to believe" is used to
signify assenting to something with choice, and, as it were,
with the sympathy that accompanies strong will, as the prodigal
follows the one who chooses to live a luxurious life. Therefore,
since Carneades, Clitomachus, and their followers say that they
are strongly inclined to believe that a thing is probable, and
we simply allow that it may be so without assent, we differ 231
from them, I think, in this way. We differ from the New Academy
likewise in things concerning the aim; for while the men who say
that they govern themselves according to that School avail
themselves of the idea of the probable in life, we live
according to the laws and customs, and our natural feelings, in
an unprejudiced way. We could say more regarding the distinction
between the two schools if we did not aim at brevity.
Nevertheless, Arcesilaus, who as we said was the leader and 232
chief of the Middle Academy, seems to me to have very much in
common with the Pyrrhonean teachings, so that his school and
ours are almost one. For neither does one find that he expressed
an opinion about the existence or non-existence of anything, nor
does he prefer one thing to another as regards trustworthiness
or untrustworthiness; he suspends his judgment regarding all
things, and the aim of his philosophy is [Greek: epoche], which
is accompanied by [Greek: ataraxia], and this agrees with what
we have said. But he calls the particular instances of 233
[Greek: epoche] _bona_, and the particular instances of assent
_mala_. The difference is that we say these things according to
what appears to us, and not affirmatively, while he says them as
if speaking of realities, that is, he says that [Greek: epoche]
is in itself good, and assent an evil. If we are to believe also
the things that are said about him, he appeared at first 234
sight to be a Pyrrhonean, but he was in truth a Dogmatic, for he
used to test his companions by the method of doubt to see
whether they were gifted enough to take in Plato's dogmas, so
that he appeared to be a Sceptic, but at the same time he
communicated the doctrines of Plato to those of his companions
who were gifted. Hence Ariston also said about him--
"Plato in front, Pyrrhon behind, Diodorus in the middle,"
because he availed himself of the dialectic of Diodorus, but was 235
wholly a Platonist. Now Philo and his followers say that as
far as the Stoic criterion is concerned, that is to say the
[Greek: phantasia kataleptike], things are incomprehensible, but
as far as the nature of things is concerned, they are
comprehensible. Antiochus, however, transferred the Stoa to the
Academy, so that it was even said of him that he taught the
Stoic philosophy in the Academy, because he tried to show that
the Stoic doctrines are found in Plato. The difference,
therefore, between the Sceptical School and the Fourth and Fifth
Academy is evident.
_Is Empiricism in Medicine the same as Scepticism?_
Some say that the medical sect called Empiricism is the same 236
as Scepticism. Yet the fact must be recognised, that even if
Empiricism does maintain the impossibility of knowledge, it is
neither Scepticism itself, nor would it suit the Sceptic to take
that sect upon himself. He could rather, it seems to me, belong
to the so-called Methodic School. For this alone, of all the
medical sects, does not seem to proceed rashly in regard to 237
unknown things, and does not presume to say whether they are
comprehensible or not, but is guided by phenomena, and receives
from them the same help which they seem to give to the Sceptical
system. For we have said in what has gone before, that the
every-day life which the Sceptic lives is of four parts,
depending on the guidance of nature, on the necessity of the
feelings, on the traditions of laws and customs, and on the
teaching of the arts. Now as by necessity of the feelings 238
the Sceptic is led by thirst to drink, and by hunger to food,
and to supply similar needs in the same way, so also the
physician of the Methodic School is led by the feelings to find
suitable remedies; in constipation he produces a relaxation, as
one takes refuge in the sun from the shrinking on account of
intense cold; he is led by a flux to the stopping of it, as
those in a hot bath who are dripping from a profuse perspiration
and are relaxed, hasten to check it by going into the cold air.
Moreover, it is evident that the Methodic physician forces those
things which are of a foreign nature to adapt themselves to
their own nature, as even the dog tries to get a sharp stick out
that is thrust into him. In order, however, that I should 239
not overstep the outline character of this work by discussing
details, I think that all the things that the Methodics have
thus said can be classified as referring to the necessity of the
feelings that are natural or those that are unnatural. Besides
this, it is common to both schools to have no dogmas, and to use
words loosely. For as the Sceptic uses the formula "I 240
determine nothing," and "I understand nothing," as we said
above, so the Methodic also uses the expressions "Community,"
and "To go through," and other similar ones without over much
care. In a similar way he uses the word "Indication"
undogmatically, meaning that the symptoms of the patient either
natural or unnatural, indicate the remedies that would be
suitable, as we said in speaking of thirst, hunger, and other
things. It will thus be seen that the Methodic School of 241
medicine has a certain relationship to Scepticism which is
closer than that of the other medical sects, speaking
comparatively if not absolutely from these and similar tokens.
Having said so much in reference to the schools that seem to
closely resemble Scepticism, we conclude the general
consideration of Scepticism and the First Book of the Sketches.
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